Good Karma

I had an employee not that long ago who was fabulous. She was my right hand: the quintessential employee every supervisor wants on their team. We didn’t call her a “senior manager” or “team lead” – she was just Katie. And nobody did her job like she did.

So everyone was stunned beyond belief when not only did Katie choose to leave a firm, but that she left WITH MY HELP. I had peers coming to me for days asking “what are you THINKING?”

I’d give them my best Mona Lisa smile and just say “why [fill in the appropriate name], whatever do you mean? It’s just the right thing to do.”

I’m sure such a move was perplexing because it WAS the right thing to do. Katie had no where to move UP to in the organization in the foreseeable future. She needed a change, a new challenge. While having her entire role and responsibility branded as her own identity (not uncommon for people to say “that sounds like a Katie thing” or “that’s got Katie written all over it.”) as managers and leaders, we owe more to our people.  And sometimes doing the right thing, means LEAVING the business — hopefully only for a while.

So what was my secret? She went to work for an old agency I used to use all the time: an agency that worked with firms in our industry but not necessarily with our company — yet.  Katie was AMAZING as a great account manager. She knew the business from the client side of the business – so her clients trusted her. When she spoke, her clients listened because she had quite literally been in their shoes just months before. She grew more in those 18 months working at the agency than she ever would have in 3 or 5 years at the company she left.  (And yes, she eventually did return in a far different, better and more challenging role than she ever would have been considered for!)

My advice: Karma is a live and well. Just do the right thing.

Category: Organizational Management

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