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"Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host, That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made, And crowns for convoy put into his purse; We would not die in that man's company That fears his fellowship to die with us."
Now, apply this lesson to those people who tell you they want out. You may find yourself reshaping your relationship with them in positive ways and boosting your leadership effectiveness with people who remain.
Here's how you do it. Offer them "crowns for convoy." Have them draw up specific leadership actions that they will take to leave. Provide milestones and ways that you and they can monitor their progress. Support them in their taking leave as you would any cause leader who is staying.
One might say that if somebody wants out ... good riddance! But let's examine this. When somebody wants to leave, two facts apply. One is that, clearly, that person - for whatever reason - is dissatisfied and is looking for satisfaction elsewhere. And two is that you have a relationship with person. It might be a good relationship. It might be a bad relationship. But here's point: You don't want to get two facts mixed up in a bad way. Because that relationship will continue in one way or another even if you don't set eyes on each other again.
A bad relationship with an employee that left your organization can come back to haunt you in many unforeseen ways. For instance, it may poison your relationship with people who remain behind. By supporting that person in taking leadership of their leaving, you are creating an opportunity for you to change your relationship with them, to work together in a positive way. This may help redress any bad feelings that might have otherwise grown worse.
When CROWNS FOR CONVOY are not offered in spite or rancor but out of a genuine desire to help, you'll transform a potentially bad situation into a beneficial one. And who knows? Maybe, like Henry, you'll achieve an unexpected upset win.
2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at www.actionleadership.com