KNOWING WHEN TO QUIT: THE UNDERESTIMATED LEADERSHIP SKILL
“You’re bored, aren’t you?” I observed. “Yes, I am. You’ve hit the nail on the head,” was the senior leader’s reply. I went on to learn that despite him liking his direct reports, the team, his boss, and the company, he had achieved what he had set out to do in his leadership role and he was not enjoying his work anymore. Through further questions, we discovered that he was now passionate about a completely different subject. It was amazing to see how much his energy changed and he lit up when talking about this new focus area.
He had planned to “ride it out” for another year, however, I challenged him on this. Why do that and get even more fed up? Plus, how much damage would he do to the business unit and team morale if his heart was no longer in it? He decided to act despite his fear of change and getting out of his comfort zone. He accepted my challenge of declaring his thoughts and intentions to the company. In the subsequent coaching session, I was gratified to hear that he had taken powerful, decisive action. The organisation interviewed him for another role which reflected his new interest – that week. Boldness has magic in it!
Knowing when to quit is a skill that I help leaders refine. How do you really know when the time is right? Here are the whispers:
You have achieved your goal
You’ve done what you set out to do and realise that you don’t want to set another goal for it. You’ve completed the challenge.
You are not learning anything new
You are coasting and the novelty of learning and newness has gone. It is the same and repetitive.
You are not developing or growing as a person
Linked to the lack of learning, you recognise that there is nowhere left for you to grow or enhance your strengths and skills. You’ve seen it, and done it.
It’s not fun any more
What started out as an exciting adventure, is now dull.
Your energy is low
A big clue is that you are struggling to feel motivated or that you just don’t want to do it – you’d rather be doing something else: laundry, cleaning out the garage, anything! The tasks that you usually find an excuse to avoid are suddenly quite appealing…
You aren’t being you
Recognising that you have turned into someone that does things that you don’t like or are not being true to who you really are is powerful. Perhaps, you are constantly stressed and snapping at your family? Or you are experiencing a conflict of values and are exhibiting behaviours that you would not tolerate in others.
ACT IN SPITE OF FEAR
Your sense of fun, learning, motivation, and excitement are on the other side of that door. The one that you need to close now because an even bigger one can then be opened. Knowing when to quit also means that you know when your new adventure can start. Plus, it gives someone else the opportunity to begin their new challenge too.
To ensure that you take daily action and stay on track for this year, you can benefit from my bold challenge, support and accountability (whilst enjoying the process!), contact me for help now.