Never underestimate the impact of frustrated leavers

Never underestimate the impact of frustrated leavers

05 October 2021
Gerrit Sarens
Gerrit Sarens
  • 😡 The case of Frances Haugen, who left Facebook, illustrates one of the risks that most companies still completely underestimate: frustrated or angry leavers

    When people leave your company, they can be very frustrated because of
    👿 Bad leadership
    👿 A clash with the company values
    👿 A severe disagreement with management
    👿 A missed promotion
    👿 …

    You might think it's perfectly normal that people leave, and that's probably right.

    However, make sure they leave without frustration or anger.

    🎯 Frustrated or mad ex-employees always spread negative things about your company, which has a destructive impact on your company's reputation.
    🎯 They talk to friends, family, and as many people as they can in their network (suppliers, clients, competitors!) to share their perception of reality.
    🎯 They try to find as many allies as possible against you.
    🎯 This negativity will spread like wildfire and always rebounds as a boomerang.

    I know what I am talking about...

Struggles of a manager

Managers are

  • not or inadequately trained in this role


    • lack self-confidence
    • don’t know how to go from being a colleague to being a boss
    • need to loosen up on the command & control leadership style
    • must let go of the (technical) expert status
    • cannot give or accept constructive feedback
    • feel pressure to perform as manager
    • have difficulty building relationships
    • want to be liked by everyone or want to be the ‘bad boss’
    • play the hero
  • are struggling


    • stay too involved in operations
    • have trouble prioritizing
    • cannot delegate
    • fear conflict situations
    • disconnect from the team
    • deal with flawed strategic thinking
    • do not relate to higher management
    • lack clear communication skills
    • remain not self-aware
    • avoid difficult conversations
    • miss political antennas
    • ...
  • capable of more


    • need mental preparation as successor
    • need to be able to lead big changes ahead
    • need to learn to be emotionally resilient and in control
    • need to learn to make big decisions fast without all the information
    • must become persuasive presenters
    • need to learn how to cultivate their own personal brand
    • need to learn how to lead by example
    • manage by trust, not by fear
    • need to overly develop empathy
    • ...
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