Why You Should Let Go of Your Best Employees

Once you’ve gone through the process of finding, hiring and training a highly ambitious self-starter, the last thing you want to do is let them go. Yet, holding them in a position to make life easier for you may just lead to losing them altogether.

Brad, a businessman with a half-dozen awards under his belt for excellence in sales and leadership, took a position with a quickly evolving startup because he saw potential for growth professionally.

“If I put my time in, build out the infrastructure for this department, then I’ll be ready to move into [the position I really want],” Brad reasoned with himself, ensuring his leadership team fully understood his longer-term intentions.

A year and a half into the position, Brad held up to his promise and made a request to shift into the position he’d been vying for from the beginning. Happy to get another team member trained up to take over his position, he pushed for progress.

However, Brad’s manager didn’t want to deal with someone new. She had come to rely on him, and so she began putting up roadblocks (perhaps without even realizing it) toward his progress.

Ever find yourself in a similar position? You came to trust and rely on someone’s capabilities in a particular position, and you didn’t want to lose the security of knowing they had what it took to get the job done.

It can be a challenging situation—and the perfect opportunity to strengthen your team and evolve as a leader. Unfortunately, the alternative to such a challenging leadership decision is far from ideal.

After a few months of failed attempts to make any progress with the leadership of the company, Brad began looking at opportunities with other companies. Within just a couple of weeks, he was offered an even better job then he could have imagined with a company and leader that can sustain his passion for career growth.

To keep ambitious people, leaders must stay ambitious themselves. By remaining committed to their success (and progress), you will wind up with a stronger, ever evolving, team of highly dedicated people who will do whatever it takes to create exceptional results.

By continually finding ways to help your team progress in their career, they will find a way to help you progress in yours. Put up roadblocks and you give your driven talent no choice but to find their way around it.
Progress is what they do, so jump in there with them and help reach their ambitions while upping your own ante along the way. Your humility and generosity will come back ten-fold. I promise.

Here’s to your greatness,

Misti Burmeister

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