Thursday, July 12, 2012

Work, I'm Gonna Leave You

How do you feel about your job? Does it make you want to get up in the morning and make an impact; or, does it make you want to hit that snooze button so hard it breaks off your alarm? What concerns me the most about these two ends of the spectrum are those employees, particularly in leadership, who are caught in between.

They're working...but they've checked out.

Expectations Matter
One of the lessons I've learned as I get, ahem, more mature in my years on the job, is that I'm not going to have fun doing everything at work. There are parts of my job that I really dislike. There are other parts that get me absolutely fired up. What has helped me get through the challenging parts is the way I set my own expectations about work.

If I expect every day to be filled with energy, creative new strategies and great results then I'm going to be bitterly disappointed. However, when I build into my expectations that I will have to power through some boring, mundane, and sometimes difficult work but I know it won't last forever, I'm much more satisfied.

Don't Leave
When expectations and the reality of our jobs are not aligned, nothing good happens. We become less interested and committed. Typically work product suffers and relationships that might have been strong at one point now become fodder for office gossip. Worst of all, the impact on our teams is obvious and immediate.

"When we lose the confidence of our team, we have nothing as leaders."

How About You
Have you already checked out? Have you noticed a colleague that has become disengaged or seems to be somewhat distant? It's time to step in and be a resource. Being a resource is still part of Human Resources, right?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

photo credit


  1. Jay - fab post and dead on !! Working with leaders who have checked out is incredibly draining and disheartening. It's a shame that organizations allow this to happen.

    I agree that it's a great opportunity for HR to step in and not let the culture get to a point where this lack of engagement is permitted. Time for us to step in and lead ourselves !!

    1. Thanks Steve...I couldn't agree with you more. It is a shame when leaders who need to move on are allowed to stay. HR can play a huge role in these situations!

  2. really good post, and absolutely spot on about 'checked out' employees - especially leaders. The long notice periods can leave to months of stagnation in a team or even a whole business - but the worst part is that lack of alignment between ambition and reality... that's where HR departments can really make a difference.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment. I agree...HR can help bridge the gap and make a much more meaningful experience.