Don’t Stop, Be Leaving

One of my favorite assignments involves teams that are new or growing. When I get a chance to work with a leader in those instances, I usually start with telling them that “Everything is decisionable”.  Clean Slate.  Greenfield.  We don’t have to do everything exactly the same way we always have.

And when you try to implement something new, not everyone is up to the task. That’s one of the reasons I am a big fan of turnover.

You may know that I have been with my employer for a long time. Coming up on thirty-four years. But I have had over 14 different positions, many of which were turned over in about two years’ time. That kind of turnover is important as well.  All the same, I sorta like to see people leave once in a while.

Sometimes, I like it because I truly believe it is in the best interest of the employee choosing to leave us. I give them credit for knowing themselves and their situation well enough to know when to move on.

But there are also those who clearly cannot reach their desired roles by staying, and yet they seem to think that when a new manager comes along, then we will understand their brilliance and they will finally be recognized for what they can bring to the game. I have been known to encourage them to consider alternatives. Sometimes I get a visit from someone who wants to casually let us know that they are looking for other opportunities. I don’t know if they think we are going to beg them to stay, but I have the same response regardless of their skills, talent, and contribution.

“You should know your market value. Always.” Sometimes, I say that out of encouragement, in hopes that the employee will see that we are paying them well and providing opportunity.

But, in truth, I also say it sometimes to encourage the employee to consider new opportunities.  Frankly, they may do better elsewhere, and turnover is good. You expect your company to have a long life? What do you really think will be the longevity of the average employee?

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