People Quit Managers, Not Companies

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Mon, May 18 - 3:12 am EDT | 8 years ago by
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    I’ve been working since I was 12 years old.  That’s 23 years if you’re counting at home. In all my time working, I’ve come to realize 1 major truth:

    I’ve only quit my managers, not any companies.

    I said it, and I feel a little better.


    So what does that mean, quitting a manager?

    Quite simply, it means if a manager hasn’t done a good job of managing me, of getting to know about me, about caring about me as a person AND as an employee, I’ve quit on them.

    No, I haven’t formally quit every job. I didn’t know it at the time, but that’s what I did.

    I’d like to apologize for every manager I’ve quit on and kept drawing a paycheck.

    Has this ever happened to you or someone you know?

    Here’s a few hopefully not close to home examples…

    • Think about the employee who took the exact same job at another company…for LESS pay.
    • Or the employee who took a lesser position to work for somewhere they felt they’d be a “better fit”
    • Or the employee and the manager who consistently butted heads, and of course, the manager won, so the employee left, citing “philosophical differences.”

    Put another way, if someone has left my team for a non-better job, it was probably MY FAULT they left.

    A few years ago, the employees of Blenz Coffee put up a sign on the door telling their manager they quit. Talk about a public display of hating their manager! Wow!

    Sound familiar? Please share your stories of quitting on the boss below.

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      • Scott C Griffin

        I have seen this happen all the time – even today. The reason people quit the manager is becuase the manager is in direct affect upon the person work life.

        And to those who have quit and collect a paycheck – I call them the ‘working dead.’ That too I see alot! It is my belief that people are so overloaded with work that they just don’t care and very possible looking make an exit to another, higher potenital position.

        It appears that the ‘working dead’ is everywhere! Even in retail – You have to hunt employees down and then they don’t even want to help.

      • Sybil Stershic

        In my career, I’ve quit both managers and companies. The difference was the sense of regret I felt when leaving a company where I enjoyed working with my manager – compared with the relief I felt when leaving a company because of the manager.

        Note: I find it interesting, Phil, that you’d like to apologize to the managers you’ve quit while staying on the job. Seems to me that the apology should be directed at the company, not the individual manager that contributed to your alienation.

      • Miki

        Great post, Phil, and an important statement. I’ve always said that there are no companies, just collections of people moving together in the same direction. They can be inspired or required or just carried along with the flow, but it’s their managers who make the difference.

      • jb

        I quit two jobs because of management. One job I quit, even though I still liked working there, because there was an amazing opportunity I would have regretted not attempting.

      • Wally Bock

        Let me throw in a positive, Phil. In my research on top performing supervisors, one of the things we found was that some of the people who could would follow good supervisors, even to less desirable shirts and jobs.

      • Scott C Griffin

        I have to agree with Wally. Good managers and supervisors are a rare breed. If you were to read “Dream Manager” I think you’d want to work for the factional company in the end!

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      • Ally

        Thanks for bringing this up, Phil…Great topic!

        I’m a systems gal. When organizations have not been structured in a way that contributes to effective management, managers and co-workers, I have left work I really like for new positions that would allow me to further develop myself. I agree that managers with strong personal interaction skills use organizational difficulties to develop team member relationships, solve problems and improve the system over the long term with higher employee retention rates. I bet you make a great manager!

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