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Prepare

April 16, 2014 Leave a comment

I was plowing through some archived material last week and I came across this piece I saved about a year ago. I don’t think I wrote it myself, but I can’t find any attribution. Regardless, this piece captures my own thoughts pretty well. We’ll ascribe it to Anonymous until someone else claims ownership. Enjoy.

“I have recently spoken and written about staff retention, about growing your team and about strategies for keeping hold of those most valuable of resources. Over the weekend, I started thinking about strategies for coping with the unfortunate, but inevitable, loss of a star player from a team.

We all have go-to members of our teams that embrace challenge and opportunity with gusto, professionalism and that achieve exceptional results, often in the face of adversity. We don’t ever want to face the possibility of losing a superstar but, as I said above, it is inevitable that opportunity will come knocking and some will be tempted away.

Rather than having the departure knock the organization backwards and be an emotional hit on us personally, we must prepare for the eventuality.

My thoughts on the preparation needed are:

1.  Communicate openly and candidly – Be prepared to discuss your team member’s futures and have their best interests foremost. By doing this, you will never be surprised by a potential exit.
2.  Seek help from the team to identify and train the up and coming superstars in the organization. This will ensure succession.
3.  Stay connected even after the individual has left. Stronger networks benefit everyone. You never know who you might find from a recommendation from your ex-employees.
4.  Look after your people while you have them. They will repay you in spades.

What would you do to prepare?

Restless

April 3, 2014 7 comments

I had a professional first a few weeks ago; after 25 years of working life I resigned from a job. I’ve been merged, acquired, leveraged, re-org’d, and RIF’d in one combination or another a dozen times; but I’ve never quit a job. It was a pretty big decision, and here’s what was behind it:

Six months ago I began to feel a professional restlessness. My situation was good; the company was thriving, and the owners were kind and generous with me. Was I having a string of bad days, or were the feelings really valid? Two months of serious self-examination landed the conclusion that yes, the feelings were indeed valid; I wasn’t just having a bad day. I needed change; needed to feel hungry again, needed to feel a little scared again, and needed to feel that ambition was being fulfilled. I was in danger of becoming stale. That’s when I made the decision to leave my position.

Extended restlessness, frustration, and dissatisfaction are a liability to the organization. We’ve seen too many valued colleagues march themselves into an emotional rut under the excuse of “sucking it up”. But sucking it up is a short-term tactic, not a career strategy. I resigned because I didn’t want my own restlessness to devolve into bitterness, cynicism, and mediocrity.

Leaders need to recognize the signs of incipient restlessness in themselves and in their employees, and to act on those signs before restlessness turns to feelings that debit rather than credit the organization. Your company, your clients, your colleagues, and (in my case) the patients deserve your very best.

 

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