I was speaking with a close and respected Senior Business Leader the other day who had recently finished a senior executive role after two seemingly successful years in the job.  On refection he said he was in a business that, with his experience and knowledge, he would be at the top of his game.  He also had put together a long list of major achievements and outcomes that he achieved in this time.  The job was so varied and complex which should have meant success all round, yes?  Alas, no! Not only did he decide to leave, but his entire team decided to move on also.  There was something missing, and that thing was GOOD WORK.

For future professional survival he really wanted to be able to reflect and articulate why this happened and what went wrong.  After much thought and extensive reading and research, he deduced why most people leave companies.  These are focused around a number of key themes:

  • A lack of trust and respect
  • Micromanagement
  • How you treat people tells all
  • Busy is the new stupid
  • If you can’t trust smart people, then don’t hire them

These themes (and others) mirrored this experienced professional’s experience. 

The second part of his reflection was the commencement of further studies with a globally renowned university.  Although seemingly obvious, WORK was put into three categories:

A. Good Job: remuneration, prestige and power

B. Good Work: high level of expertise and genuine concern and care on the implication and application of your work

C. Compromised Work: cutting corners and costs is expected

The theory states that psychologically people need A+B-C.  If all you get is A + the frequently mentioned themes above, then good people will leave.  What he came to the realization was that he had both A+C minus B.  This theory confirms his reason for leaving.

This can also be a unique predictor for future outcomes if the formula remains the same. Good work willbe essential in this seasoned professional’s next role and ultimately his career survival.

Does your workplace embrace the A+B-C approach?  What can you do in your role to ensure you have the formulae right for you and your colleagues?

Richard Dunks

Executive Consultant

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *