I had a conversation recently with a very talented Emerging Leader who is destined to one day become a CEO of a company. He was beginning to demonstrate signs of burn-out because he was working in an organization where the Leadership team was not aligned with one another, and they were not accustomed to holding every member of the team responsible for results. My friend the Emerging Leader was increasingly frustrated with the situation and decided it was time to begin looking for another opportunity outside the company. We talked about his situation and about whether it was better for him to safely continue to stay where he was, and accept his circumstances or whether it was indeed time to explore the world outside of his current organization.
Should I Stay Or Should I Go? In addition to being a pretty terrific song by the Clash, many years ago, this is a question that a lot of Emerging Leaders face a time or two during their careers as they develop. So, how do you know when it’s time to stay or time to go? We talked through this, and we considered his current situation and also considered how his current situation had become untenable. He had decided that the frustrations he faced day in and day out at the current organization were not likely to change. His organization’s leadership team had consistently resisted his suggestions and recommendations for improvements. They seemed quite committed to their business model and their vision for the future of the organization. They seemed very unwilling to change. The leadership was under the impression that their future was as good for him as it was for them. My Emerging Leader didn’t see it quite that way. Still, he didn’t relish the idea that he might need to begin interviewing to find a new opportunity. In the end, what my Emerging Leader decided was that his share of the benefits with his current employer was not commensurate with his contribution, and he felt that it was probably time to move on.
What’s The Calculation To Make The Decision? If you’re an Emerging Leader and you’re trying to figure out whether to stay or move on, you need to ask yourself several great questions. The answers will help you to decide what your best option is. Question one: Is my life better today than it was yesterday? Question two: Is my life going to be better tomorrow if I stay put? Question three: Have I done everything I can to try to make the most of this situation, or is there more that I could do to help my current employer make my future more inviting? Question four: Do I have the time and the energy to invest in finding a new opportunity? Question Five: Does my future look better somewhere else than it does where I am now? If your answers to these questions are two nos and three yeses, it’s probably time for you to move on. If you conclude that leaving doesn’t seem more positive than staying put, you should probably reinvest in yourself and in making the most of your current situation.
If You’re Company Leadership How Do You Retain Your Talent? The last couple of years has been particularly challenging for companies trying to hold onto their valuable employees. I’m surprised that companies don’t do more for their employees to hold onto them. Here are five really important imperatives if you’re a member of your company’s leadership and you want to hold onto your people. 1. Pay your people well enough so that they’ll know you want them to stay around a long while. Pay more than market compensation if you have to, because churn in your team, is hideously expensive and disruptive. 2. Acknowledge the good work that your people are delivering day after day so that they’ll know you value their contribution and want to stay. 3. Invest in the growth of your people. Train them. Develop Their skills. They’ll want to stay with you if you help them to grow. 4. Align your people around your values and principles. When everyone knows what your company stands for, and they believe in it, they tend to stick around. 5. Communicate clearly and consistently with your team and your culture will grow. Be open and tell them everything they need to know.
So how did it turn out? Did my Emerging Leader decide to test the waters and move along or stay put? In the end, he concluded that his current employer didn’t value him as much as he believed he warranted. He also didn’t believe that they would make the changes to their culture and their business model necessary to stay ahead of the competition. He went out and interviewed and secured a great job with a company with the kind of vision and values that got him reinvigorated about going to work every morning like he used to. It is a happy conclusion to his questioning process. He thought things through and did the work necessary to go find another opportunity, and stopped letting fear, insecurity, and inertia from keeping him stuck in his former situation. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I hope that this article will help you to determine what’s right for you and your family, and your career.
Michael is a Master Executive Development and Leadership Coach, and a member of the Professional Business Coaches Alliance. Michael is the founder of Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting, a coaching and consulting firm with coaches in Minnesota, Arizona, Florida, and Iowa. Michael is also the host of a podcast about Leadership and specifically Developing Leadership. The podcast is called “What Are YOU Doing?” and you can find it at Michael’s website, www.michaelbeachcoach.com, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you’d like more information about Michael’s team of great coaches, send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.