On an average, Indians do not stay with the same organization as long as non-Indians do. It is not uncommon to go into an organization off the reservation and see plaques on the wall commemorating 10, 20, 30, and even 40 years of service. This is rare in Indian Country, although I know some tribal council members and college presidents who have been in their position for at least 20 years.
The difference between Indians and non-Indians in the length of employment at an organization may be due to how each group feels about "ownership" in their place of work. In my view, non-Indians feel ownership in their place of employment more acutely than Indians do. I often hear them express this ownership when talking about their job. They will use phases like, "I don't have the stock on hand;" "I am going to renovate the room..." Their choice of words, interpreted literally, will indicate they own the place, instead of just working there. On the other hand, Indians rarely use "ownership" types of phrases when describing their work or work place.
Another difference is the way they respond to "orders" from their supervisor. Non-Indians appear to be more obedient and/or expect more obedience. I noticed ... when a non-Indian supervisor gives directions, they do not expect any questions and the non-Indian worker usually obeys and carries out the direction to the letter. Indian supervisors appear to "ask" their employees to do something and often the Indian worker will have questions or do it the way they think it should be done. This may be one of the reasons why Indians, who having worked the majority of their life on a reservation, have a difficult time holding onto a job off the reservation.
There may be a historical reason for this. Historically, non-Indians never questioned their "superior" and non-Indian leaders never tolerated any questions to their authority. However, historically Indians never followed a leader unless that leader earned their trust and respect first. When a leader lost that trust and respect, his followers left him to follow another leader. It would be as simple as that.
On another note, having been in some kind of supervisory position during the last twenty years, I noticed a lot of non-Indians who come and work for us are usually very "independent workers." They like the "relaxed" atmosphere on Indian Reservations. Under our relaxed atmosphere, most of them really shine. However, I would venture to guess some of them, due to their unwillingness to take and follow orders, would have a hard time finding suitable employment should they ever decide to work for a non-Indian organization again.
What would happen if Indian people today applied the same criteria to leaders that our ancestors did 150 years ago? How would the reservation change if our leaders today had to earn respect and trust from our people before they assumed a leadership position, the way our ancestors did, by practicing the four virtues of courage, honesty, perseverance, and generosity?