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The Cons and Cons of Leadership

Two important "con" words in leadership: Consideration and Consistency.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone who really wanted to quit her job. She called me seeking guidance—should she quit? what would she say to her boss? what might the fallout be when she did quit?

After hearing her story, my advice was to GTFO! (Get the F*ck Out for those who are more polite than I and, therefore, wouldn't know.)

Most of the time I advise people who are wondering whether they should quit to carefully consider if the timing is right for them to leave. I ask questions like: Why do you feel the need to leave? Can you switch to another area of the company and achieve growth? Is there still more they can learn from their current role? Depending on how they answer these questions, I may tell them to leave, but I more likely will tell them to see what they can do to get their jobs back on track.

This case was different. This woman had a boss who was extremely difficult. She never knew what mood her boss would come into the workplace with, and this had her walking on eggshells all the time. She couldn’t predict whether she would get praise or punishment for her work. She never knew if she could talk to her boss or would have to hide away from her for the day.

Further, this woman told me in the 6 months she’d worked there, she’d cried at least 12 times. That’s way, way too many times.

While the boss was a bully, what was truly challenging was the inconsistency in behaviour. There was no certainty of how things would be taken. As a result, anything that went wrong was hidden away until it became a crisis. Things that should have been communicated were held secret for fear of reprisal. Anxiety became a constant on the job, eroding any chance of trust.

It’s really too bad. This woman has just quit. I know her. She’s smart, adaptable, capable of handling just about any situation, customer-focused and always intent on doing her best. She’ll have a new job in no time. Her boss has just lost one of the best employees she could ever have, and it might take a while to find someone to fill the gap. Too bad for her. I’d like to think that might teach her a lesson in how to treat those who work for you. Likely it never will.

But, I guess there's always the hope she'll read this post...


One of the 7 leadership traits Laura encourages all leaders to espouse is Consideration.

This trait is one of the key concepts taught in her soft skills program for managers: Leading with RESPECT (bet what you can guess the C is for in that acronym!).

Learn more about soft skills training for managers here:


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