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The Great Reshuffle. (#48)

The Confident Leader

Leaders have been taking it on the chin these past few newsletters as we explore the Great Resignation. Let’s even the score a bit and look at it from the leader’s perspective.

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
— Mark Twain

This Week’s Edition

The leaders who have fought mightily through the pandemic to keep the boat afloat may be misunderstood and underappreciated by the employees whose jobs they worked so hard to save.

Clarify Your Thinking

Leaders, your team members are leaving, offering these excuses:

·      Never-ending workload,

·      Lessened connection to the organization, and

·      Lack of recognition.


As the leader, you might have a valid response:

1.   I was battling an invisible enemy, a global pandemic.

2.   It was all hands-on deck to absorb the negative economic impact.   

3.   It was not a time for fragile flowers or tender snowflakes.

4.   It was an all-out war we had to fight together to save all our jobs.


As for your employees, their departure doesn’t make complete logical sense. Think about it this way. Each person who leaves knows what they are running from, but do they know what they are running to?


The position they are filling was vacated by someone who most likely felt the same way they do – weary, frustrated and under-appreciated. What makes your former employee think this “new” job will be any different? Will it really be the panacea they hope? Why not be more patient?


Take it one step further. Their new boss was in the same boat you were in during the pandemic, and they are most likely reeling from the loss of the legacy employee who created the vacancy.  


The new boss will be relieved to fill the vacancy with your old employee.  This quick fix will decrease the odds that boss will do anything to adjust their leadership, a factor which may have been part of the problem to begin with.


Thus, your old employee, in their new role will quickly get disenchanted with their new job realizing it’s just the same as their perception of their old job (at your company). If they have jumped once they may jump again continuing the Great Resignation in perpetuity.  Perhaps it should be called the Great Reshuffle.


How do you break the cycle? Good leadership is the answer.


post pandemic vision

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Two top leaders recently had two valued employees who quit, neither of whom they wanted to lose. Our coaching session led us to this widely held leadership concept: see the departure of an employee as an opportunity to upgrade the position.


Faced with uncertainty, upgrading the position in this case was going to be a challenge due to the high quality of both individuals who left.


As an intentional strategy of good leadership, both leaders tried something new. They humbly and boldly began talking with the team about the void left by each of their former team members. This opened a dialogue to rethink the two different departments and generated some interesting options.


In one case the team believed the best option was to NOT rehire the position but use the salary to higher two junior employees. The most senior team members offered to divide the former employee’s responsibilities among themselves creating a more strategic division of labor.


In the other case, an existing employee referred a friend for the job who was qualified and was hired.  The leaders felt positive about the trusted employee’s recommendation.  The employee felt heard and a part of the solution.


The Great Resignation is leaving a wake in its path. No leader seems immune to the impact, but these challenges offer leaders an opportunity to upgrade their leadership.


Boost Your Performance

The Great Reshuffle… has it hit your organization? Just because you fill the vacant position(s) doesn’t mean the problem has been solved. Watch the video and decide that today is the day you are going to increase your leadership to be the leader you aspire to be.  Now is the time!

What’s Your Opinion?

How do you think about the loss of an employee? 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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