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Please Don’t Go! (#47)

The Confident Leader

The response to last week’s newsletter, The Great Resignation, was significant. It hit a nerve. As a result, I had numerous conversations with leaders and team members from coast to coast that I want to share.

So please don’t go. Don’t go. Don’t go away. Please don’t go. Don’t go. I’m begging you to stay.
— KWS (90’s British Band singing “Please Don’t Go”)

This Week’s Edition

Leaders had to reduce their workforce during the pandemic. This was painful, but at least they were able to keep their top talent. That precious top talent now is walking out the door. What’s a leader to do?

Clarify Your Thinking

Leaders have been caught off guard by the Great Resignation, because they have been busy leading through these turbulent times. The pandemic and the work from home situation has distanced work relationships that would be stronger if the team was physically together.


This leaves leaders doubtful and guessing: Why are they leaving? What do they want? What are they thinking? What did I do wrong?


Based on my conversations, here is what many team members are thinking about their situation. Leaders, you might want to sit down for this one.


·      I can’t take PTO because the workload upon return is crushing.

·      I won’t take time off because I don’t want to do that to my colleagues who will be swamped doing my work while I am gone.

·      I can’t really take PTO because everyone (including you) still expects me to respond when you email and call.

·      You cut our staff, but the workload remained the same and you have not communicated what the plan is to hire more people.

·      When you tell me that my “bonus” is having a job I am offended.

·      When you tell me that my “bonus” is working from home I am really offended.

·      I’ve been thinking about quitting for a long time. Being surprised at this turn of events proves to me you haven’t been paying attention to anything I’ve been doing or saying.

·      Stop saying you care about me/us and my/our future in a team email, because you haven’t picked up the phone once to check on me since the pandemic started.

·      While I like the flexibility of work from home, I am working more hours than ever before. Your insinuation that being at home means I am slacking is disrespectful.

·      Watching others quit scares me. Is their workload coming to me? Why haven’t you told me what your plan is? I think I should quit too. Life’s too short.


The Leader’s Old Thinking: This situation is frustrating and maddening.  I’m triggered and going to respond to them point by point, because I’ve got good reasons for my decisions. 


Warning: Approaching your team when you are triggered or to justify your position may only make the situation worse. It’s possible your team will only hear you as making excuses.


New Thinking: I’m going to vent and get it out. Then, I’m going to pause and remember what it was like to not be in a position of authority. I’m going to be empathetic to the people who do not sit at the table and approach them in a manner that is genuine, authentic, and even a little vulnerable.  

post pandemic vision

Thoughts Lead to Actions

I was working with a leader this week whose leadership team came to him with information about the team’s current state: overworked, weary, dispirited, and borderline hopeless that things would change.


He came to our coaching session with a lengthy three-page email he was going to send to the team. “Joe, why do you think an email is the best approach?” I asked.

“Well, we just had an all-team call two weeks ago. It’s too early to get everyone back together again,” Joe said.

“What was the purpose of the all-team call?” I asked.

“It’s our routine call to update everyone on the strategy for the next two quarters,” he said.

“So, the topic was the additional work they will need to do for the next six months?” I asked highlighting the possible interpretation his team might have taken. “Think about it from their perspective. A routine call is just that, routine. Your team’s situation right now is far from routine. They need something different.”

“What do they need?” Joe asked exasperated.

“That’s the question you, the leader, need to find out.”


Joe and I strategized. He desperately wanted to know what his team needed. He recognized that each one might need something different. We crafted a new plan.


1.   Assemble the leadership team to brainstorm ideas on how to approach the team.

2.   Craft a plan to engage each employee that is intentional and personalized.

3.   Begin executing on the engagement plan, stopping early and often to adjust based on the feedback received.


Joe grew in his confidence, because although he had not solved the issue, he had a plan to get a plan.  


Boost Your Performance

Today is the day to rest. Spend time away from the office. The issues you are dealing with will be there when you return. Being refreshed can generate a new perspective – the ability to see an old challenge in a new way. Watch this week’s video to be encouraged to rest.

What’s Your Opinion?

How do you manage the Great Resignation? Let me know at

Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

If this was helpful, feel free to share it with another leader who needs to defeat doubt and complete their confidence.

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What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.

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