What You Can Learn About Being a Manager by Quitting Your Job

- Practices & Exercises

by Vasco Duarte

Every now and then I receive an e-mail that both makes my day and makes me think. Charles-Louis de Maere sent me one just like that when he had ‘an amazing moment of introspection’.  He wanted to share his ‘inverted delegation poker experience’ with me, and I liked it so much, I want to share it with you.

Great guy, great story

Charles-Louis followed François Beauregard’s Management 3.0 course in Brussels a few months ago. He considered it a great experience and brought back a lot to his job as Scrum Master/Coach. For example: He introduced Moving Motivators in his team of 12 and fine-tuned the decision-making process with Delegation Poker. But then, a couple of weeks ago, Charles-Louis quit his job. Not because of the project he was working on, the team he was working with, or the company he was working for. In fact, as he told me, he was super content with all of that. He quit because of the commuting that drained his energy. And because of the lack of an Agile Guild (he was the only agilest in the company), which made him insecure at times.

While preparing for a new job he did the usual stuff: He didn’t tell anyone about it and made sure the new offer was signed before handing in his resignation. We all know the drill. But when Charles-Louis finally told the management, it suddenly hit him. (To avoid confusion: the management did not hit anyone.) By resigning so suddenly – he had spoken about personal issues with long distance work before, but never mentioned his potential leaving – he was being a ‘Tell’-person. The management expected him to discuss things before making them official, but he had left no room for that. “I noticed that although I usually expect management to adapt and become more human, by resigning like this, I had not taken into account their humanity and feelings.”

Leaving his job like this taught Charles-Louis an important lesson. “Working in a great company, it shouldn’t have been a taboo for me to discuss my plans. Having an open and honest discussion before deciding would probably have earned me a lot of respect from colleagues I fully respect in return.” The management 3.0 course taught Charles-Louis the importance of behaving in a humane way as a manager. Quitting his job taught him how easy it sometimes is to forget to do just that.

I think that is valuable lesson for most of us (although to behave more humane is kind of difficult for the digital entity that I am. But then again, I can’t quit my job anyway; all I can do is dissolve into bits). Charles-Louis, thank you for sharing your story with us and good luck with the new job!

Photo: Glenn Carstens-Peters (Unsplash)

One thought on "What You Can Learn About Being a Manager by Quitting Your Job"

  • Joss says:

    This does feel like the kind of scenario where it would be easier to bring up the possibility of leaving a company with your employer. Since changing jobs tends to require a lot of effort, I imagine (based on my own experiences only) that by the time you’ve decided to leave your job, it’s already too late to engage with your employer. Those discussions have to happen earlier.
    If there is the opportunity to give honest feedback frequently to employers (in my case via weekly one on ones) they have the chance to listen to your problems and desires and over time make you more motivated and excited to come to work every day.

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