Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


How do you keep the talented interested?

After all, some seem only interested in themselves.

Isn't it inevitable that, at some point, their self-interest will send them off to a place where new people find them even more talented than you do?

Or might there be something CEOs can do that they're just not doing?

Here's a clue offered in an exciting report from Deloitte.

It's called the Business Confidence Report 2016 and it collates the thoughts of many C-Suite thinkers, as well as those it charmingly calls CXOWs. Or Big Bosses In Waiting.

Why, oh, why would they think top performers run off elsewhere?

"It's the money," I hear you mutter.

Apparently not.

Or apparently not if you believe the 600 highly-regarded humans interviewed by Deloitte.

Instead, their top managers are supposedly excited by other things -- or rather depressed by things their own companies don't have.

At the top of their list: Technology.

54 percent of those already in the C-Suite -- and 60 percent of those who daily smell the leather within it -- said that a huge reason why top managers quit is a desire to work with more advanced technologies.

Yes, Silicon Valley's fierce urge to turn everyone into a functional engineer seems to be making enormous headway.

Worse, 52 percent of C-Suiters and 57 percent of the C-Suite Bridespersons said quitting was caused by a desperate urge to work for a more innovative company.

Does everyone have a secret urge to work at Google and Facebook? Perhaps they do if they're peddling breakfast cereal and margarine every day?

Is the drive to bathe in startup culture and skateboard around a sparse office so great that no promise, no package can hold it back?

That's the implication here.

Only 32 percent of C-Suiters and Aspirants said that a lack of leadership training forced the best managers to leave. Oh, let's cut that budget then.

There was, however, another statistic that caught my brain.

45 percent of each of Those Who've Made It and Those Who Have Almost, Almost Made It said that "a lack of engagement with company culture" drove the best managers away.

This is a curious thought, one that seems so much like a euphemism.

If these managers have already ridden most of the way up the corporate elevator, how could they have done it without a certain engagement with company culture?

Moreover, how could they not have imbued their immediate underlings with that same engagement?

Wade through the report, though, and you find another nugget that might be at least partially made of gold.

Almost every single top leader interviewed said that it was important to have bold leadership.

Without, I suspect, even taking a breath, more than 9 out of the 10 of them admitted they didn't themselves demonstrate bold leadership.

In a revealing twist, only 64 percent of the C-Suiters claimed they set ambitious goals.

A mere 45 percent said that were daring enough to propose an idea that the company might find controversial.

A piffling 34 percent said they took any risks at all.

Might this be the real reason why the supposed tech-obsessed, innovation-craving top managers say sayonara?