Harun Rabbani is a leadership mentor, author and keynote speaker. He helps his clients inspire, influence and impact their customers and their teams. He is currently writing “The Influencer’s Handbook” for brave, caring business owners. Click here to find him on LinkedIn and visit his website www.harunrabbani.com. Want to know how you can increase your influence as a leader? Book a 30-mins no-obligation consultation here www1.plugstreet.com/harun


The late Steve Jobs was not known for his humility, kindness and tolerance. He employed a leadership style that was not new to the world. Despite his arrogant and often questionable approach, he had 3 qualities that distinguished him over and above most business leaders: 

  1. A clear vision.
  2. A passion for the company and the people.
  3. Trust.

No. He did not have a typical company vision written on a plaque to prop up the wall. It is because of these three reasons that people were inspired to stay with Apple despite the great challenges they faced.

There are several distinct styles of leadership, but in today’s age, you have to be mindful of the style you deploy. Your team has a wide range of choices available to them. One of them is to leave your company.

A 2017 survey by Investors In People (IIP) revealed some stark statistics. 59% were considering leaving their jobs over the course of the next 12 months. That was a 10% rise since the previous year. [Click this link to download report: IIP Why People Leave Their Jobs]

The reasons given vary from pay (51%), poor career progression (33%) to a bad boss (42%). Therein lies the greatest threat to business owners. If, in the next year, you lose 51% of your staff, what is the real cost of that to your business?

According to an analysis by Oxford Economics, the average cost of replacing one member of staff if £30,000.  This is composed of lost output and recruiting/training the replacement.

Whilst workers may cite a variety of reasons for leaving a company, what is the single cause of leaving?

Meaningful work and meaningful relationships.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise when 50% of your team’s waking life (during the week) is at work. It goes deeper.

During the Industrial Revolution, people worked long, hard hours because:

  1. They had to work to survive or starve.
  2. They had little or no choice who they could work for.
  3. They lacked the education and resources to improve their conditions.

In the Information Age, things are entirely different. In the West, survival is not the key driver for most workers. There are plenty of job opportunities even during uncertain economic conditions. Most of the resources a worker needs to exercise can be accessed through their smartphone.

Meaningful work is found in the contribution your employee feels they are making to the broader meaning to their life. It also means the feeling they derive from making a positive contribution or legacy to they greater good. Their work has to contribute to them feeling a sense of significance and purpose.

Why do meaningful relationships matter at the workplace?

First, people don’t just have relationships with other people. They have a relationship with their vocation. That relationship is very much about how they relate their personal core values with the value of their organisation. Note, they do not have to have the same set of values.

Second, at any given time, you can have up to 150 meaningful relationships with other people. A meaningful relationship is one where, during a crisis, an individual can phone someone at 2am to get a lending ear. The 150 people form that individual’s “tribe”.

The tribe will be composed of significant members of their family, friends and co-workers. Those individuals who feel connected to their tribe are usually happy, fulfilled and productive. Long-term productivity is a consequence of being happy and fulfilled. NOT the other way round.

How do you increase your influence as a boss?

To create change in the workplace, there are two areas you must change – the meaning your team gets from working with your organisation AND your relationship with individual members of the team.

The steps to helping your team to transform are easy:

  1. (Use a scientifically devised survey.)
  2. (Get clarity about what they are asking for.)
  3. Process the information. (Analyse the results.)
  4. Make new decisions. (Pick one or a series of aligned choices and take action.)
  5. Measure and monitor the results (Observe KPI’s and, above all ask.)
  6. Amend decisions if necessary.
  7. Measure and monitor the results.

Ultimately, the success of any business is dependent on its leader and her/his team. Since AI (artificial intelligence) hasn’t taken over the world as yet, the success of your systems and processes are very much dependent on your team.

Would the overall leadership style employed by Steve Job’s style of leadership be acceptable in today’s modern workplace? Perhaps. But not for many businesses. Nonetheless, creating a fiercely loyal team like Apple is at your fingertips.

If you would like to learn more about how to increase your influence and employee engagement, feel free to contact the author: harun@harunrabbani.com