“It’s you, actually.”

If someone has left your organization for another since Covid-19 became an economy crushing thing, then I humbly suggest deep leadership reflection.

Remember the old break up line, “it’s not you, it’s me.” If somebody left you recently, it’s definitely you. Not because you are a bad person! You aren’t!

But somebody made a mental calculation and arrived at the conclusion that the engulfing anxiety of starting a new job with new people and new clients amid an unprecedented lock down that might spawn a recession or depression is more attractive than sticking it out at your organization until (hopefully) the economy improves.


Don’t beat yourself up. I’ve been there. And who knows? Maybe it was just the right time for them to move on. But I was reminded (again) today of just how big and opaque our personal blind spots are. Blind spots that only reveal themselves after a triggering event.

So, what do we do? Forget the exit interview. You won’t learn anything. Instead, reflect. What clues did they reveal? Ask others to help you fill in the narrative. Create some narrative points supported by your findings. Then, most importantly, identify if and where any leadership changes are needed. You can never fix another person, but you can always improve yourself.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on May 19, 2020

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