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Summary: Most leaders eventually have to contend with people who want to leave their team or organization. How you deal with such situations can be one of most important things you do as a leader. Here is a simple but powerful process, taught by Shakespeare's Henry V, that will help insure you do right thing.
A Rare Leadership Skill: Dealing With People Who Want Out By Offering Crowns For Convoy by Brent Filson
As a leader, you'll inevitably be faced with people wanting to leave your team or organization. Dealing with challenge is critical for your leadership success. Your response will have ramifications far beyond your immediate circumstances. One of best ways to respond comes from Shakespeare's Henry V.
The stirring speech of Shakespeare's Henry before battle of Agincourt contains many leadership nuggets. But commentators who recount speech usually overlook a particularly valuable one. They focus on speech's "band of brothers" aspects but neglect fact that Henry also said that if any of his soldiers would rather not fight, he'd give them passport and "crowns for convoy" back to England.
Henry was aware that some of his soldiers were reluctant to fight; for he led a rather bedraggled army. History recounts they had marched 260 miles in 17 days. They were short of food. They were drenched by two weeks of continuous rain. Many of them were suffering from dysentery contracted from drinking fetid pond water. And they were facing flower of French knighthood, knights who were rested, better equipped and eager for battle. So there were probably many soldiers who wanted to avoid battle, get quickly to coast and board ships for England.
Shakespeare has his Henry respond to these leadership challenges in a telling way. Instead of trying to cajole those who wanted to leave into remaining with him, or on other hand, punish them, he did something much more effective: He actually offered them passports and money to go.