Rethinking The Great Resignation

The “Great Resignation” remains a top concern for business leaders. The ongoing churn is really affecting productivity and profitability and when you combine that with COVID sickness, January, for a lot of businesses, was rough. Here are some thoughts I’m keeping in mind to help.

1. The goal isn’t a great month, it’s a great business

Thinking like this requires taking a longer-term view. I’m not saying don’t push to hit your monthly goals or be disappointed if you and your team fall short, I am saying don’t overreact. Remember, leaders stay calm in the storm, and while you may be freaking out inside, it’s not helpful to push what is mostly your stuff (fear, insecurity, lack of cash reserves) onto your team. 

2. When you’re behind, encourage and support. When you’re ahead, push.

This is one of my favorite leadership principles with regard to goals. This simple principle helps me modulate my internal feeling, which is to push under every circumstance. I know that’s generally not healthy for the rest of the team, and I have to resist that urge. If this is one of your tendencies, it’s helpful to have people in your immediate sphere that can pull you back when you’re getting too aggressive.

3. No one is as committed to the business as you are as the owner, so get over it

Most entrepreneurs have very few boundaries between them and the business. That’s a topic for another day, and it is not a reasonable expectation for your team. What makes this particularly difficult is that most people are not good at managing their own boundaries, which means that, as a leader, you may have to manage them on their behalf. If you’re a leader with boundary challenges, be extra careful with your team, because if you manage that way for long, you’ll run people out the door pretty fast. 

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to be perfect, and your team will give you a lot of grace if you’re open and transparent about these challenges. The great resignation, or as I like to call it, the great reassessment, is on all of us to work through. Together, I’m confident we will.