You've met them before. They've been part of your organization. They contributed, were popular with the team, and had a bright future. They were always selected to work on the interesting, or complicated, or breakthrough projects. We relied on them as a sounding board when things seemed to get out of control. We almost took them for granted.
Then they were gone.
Losing good people is not uncommon. Sometimes we simply cannot keep up with their rising star status, and an opportunity becomes available at another organization. Although we feel bad that we lost a great employee, we also feel good that our organization produced someone of such high quality that the competition didn't hesitate to grab them.
It still makes us wonder what we could have done differently though, right?
Emperors, Clothes, and Culture
One of the challenges every organization faces is whether or not the path they are on is actually a good one or not. Is the leadership team so caught up in the "latest thinking" and a "new vision" that they have completely lost touch with reality?
Is there a dominating personality that forces the others to be nothing more than a team of bobble-heads that simple nod in agreement after every meeting, presentation and speech?
If so, what culture do you think is being created? How does that rising star feel about that environment? If you were to guess, would you think that rising star is likely to stay and be a part of that world?
Um, no...they wouldn't.
That "One" is Different
When we force ourselves to step back and critically assess our corporate cultures, we often can identify gaps or blind spots that we naturally miss. The discipline of taking a virtual time-out and seeking the feedback of your network (both internally and externally) can help us stay on track.
If you are one of those leaders who isn't excited about being a bobble-head, but actually wants to lead in a world class culture, the environment described above can feel unsettling at best, and toxic at worst. Right?
Where is the constructive conflict? Where is the back and forth conversation that moves the organization to a new level of excellence? Is it all based on a cult of personality?
How About You
Take a few minutes today and step back and think about your culture. Is there an arrogance that has permeated your organization? Is the "us against the world" mentality getting in the way of seeing the reality of your situation? Maybe being one of those leaders isn't so bad after all. Just think about all the opportunities out there waiting for you if you decide to leave.
I'd love to hear from you.