There are lots of ways to characterize the skills of a leader. Identifying your “in versus out ratio” is a really simple one that is pretty accurate.
If your organization feels like a revolving door for the best talent, then you should consider it a sign that you need to improve your leadership.
High end leaders seem to attract the best resources to work for them. They get a reputation based on treating people the right way, and developing them to be their best.
When people are fully engaged in the work, they have more fun and tend to tell others about their good fortune.
When there is a culture of high trust, people feel highly valued and tend to stick around.
Poor leaders tend to annoy people working for them. They may be erratic, pig headed, ruthless, dull, tyrants or countless other adjectives that make people want to get away from them, if they can.
The word spreads about these leaders as well, so the poor reputation becomes a telltale warning sign for would-be employees.
If you wish to know the caliber of your own leadership, simply make note of how easily you attract and retain the best talent. If people line up to join your team there must be a reason. Word has gotten out that working for you is rewarding and even enjoyable.
That is not to say there is no turnover in the organizations of great leaders. The best leaders care about the development of their people and seek to provide growth opportunities that sometimes mean leaving the fold.
My observation was that the best leaders tended to be generous with sharing resources, while poor leaders liked to hoard their talent and milk them all they could. That trend did not stop the best talent from getting fed up and seeking a way out.
Looking at the workers under a poor leader, you typically see a revolving door where people enter all excited and get out within a year or two after experiencing the frustrations that go with the daily behaviors that trash trust and enthusiasm.
To gauge the quality of your leadership, simply keep track of this ratio and compare it with others in your organization. If your ratio is healthy, that means you are probably doing things right.
Some churn in order to develop people is a good idea, but if people are anxious to get out of your organization, then you need to improve your leadership.
Bob Whipple is CEO of Leadergrow Inc., a company dedicated to growing leaders. He speaks and conducts seminars on building trust in organizations.