According to Deloitte, 5 critical factors that influence retention include:

  1. Trust in the company.
  2. The availability of career opportunities.
  3. Fair exchange of reward for effort.
  4. Having the autonomy to do the work you’ve been hired for.
  5. Working in an environment that acknowledges and promotes success.

All of which relate to the social drivers of safety from the brain’s perspective.

To be a leader worth following start with,


Lead through the observable behaviours of authenticity, transparency, consistency, and fairness to establish trust and mutual respect.

Listen actively and deeply to others. Feeling heard or being acknowledged for an opinion or insight promotes contribution and collaboration.

Take time out to think. Reflection promotes greater understanding of the bigger picture and reduces the tendency to a knee-jerk reaction, the reactive type-one thinking that may blindside the slower type-two responsive thinking as outlined by Daniel Kahneman.

Court “buy-in” by revealing what’s in it for everyone by communicating a clear and bold vision for what you want the company to achieve.

Promoting a can-do attitude

Attitude is a choice. Promoting a collective mindset that is open to new ideas, sharing of knowledge and possibility thinking comes through the creation of an open-minded organisation led by a leader who embraces a having a go, and looks to succeed by doing things differently.


No one likes to second-guess what mood you will be in on any given day. Consistency in how you present reduces fear and uncertainty and promotes more useful and positive habits of workplace practice.


Be human.  A leader who knows they don’t have all the answers, but is willing to ask for input reveals they are secure and confident in their own abilities. This creates a culture of mutual respect. As  Sir Ken Robinson tells us,

 “The role of the creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued.”


Using your brain’s natural plasticity as a life-long learner provides the cognitive advantage of adaptability in our rapidly changing world. In combination with the other factors, this is what contributes to make you the leader worth following.