I had been promoted to my first management job for my performance as an individual contributor.
Within 6 months one of my best developers came to me with a resignation letter. We always had a great working relationship with her when I was a developer myself.
I was shocked.
I asked her – why?
She said she feels unappreciated, not valued, not seeing the big picture and no prospects for career growth.
They had not sent me to management classes, but this was the best management lesson I ever received.
Prior to this resignation, my focus was on projects and problems and helping those who needed help.
She never needed any help, and her projects were as on time as a Swiss watch.
In her case, I missed several boxes from the diagram above: involved, mentored, appreciated, valued, on a mission. For sure I valued and appreciated her, but I never took the time to show it.
After a long conversation, I convinced her that I am learning to be a leader and that she just gave me a great lesson, and then I asked her to give me another chance. I was humble and appreciative.
She gave me another chance and stayed on. We worked together for many more years.
In addition to the points to the diagram above, I would add that employees stay when
1) we create opportunities for them and give them opportunities to grow
2) take risks for them
3) treat their problems as our own
4) stand up for them
5) treat them fairly
6) stay honest with them
Do you agree?
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