Why Leaders Should Avoid ‘Quiet Quitting’​

In today’s world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of work. With long hours and endless projects, it’s no wonder that so many people feel burned out. Sometimes, the thought of quitting can seem appealing. After all, who wants to keep putting up with a job that’s making them miserable? Then again, very few people up and quit their job without having another lined up. (been there, done that – future blog to come)

It’s happened to the best of us, we’ve all been there. You’re stuck in a job you hate and feel like you can’t take it anymore. You know you need to leave, but you can’t just up and quit—you have bills to pay, and maybe a family to take care of after all. So, what do you do?

Can you imagine on the series “The Office,” Michael Scott quitting his job in an epic fashion, standing on his desk, belting out “That’s What She Said” to a bewildered office, and then making a dramatic exit, shirtless, into the parking lot.. (true ‘office’ fans know if this scene really happened) or the infamous scene in Jerry McGuire where he quits and asks ‘who’s coming with me’ – can you imagine this happening in real life? – I can’t either.

It’s hard to imagine a real-life situation where such a scene would play out well, but it’s even harder to picture someone quitting their job quietly and without fanfare. And yet, that’s exactly what most people do.

In today’s business world, there is a lot of pressure on leaders to be perfect. As a result, many leaders feel like they have to put up a brave face and act like everything is okay, even when it’s not.

Quiet quitting is nothing new, it’s when someone silently disengages from their work because they are unhappy or frustrated. It might seem harmless, but quiet quitting can actually do a lot of damage. While this may seem like the easier option in the moment, it can often lead to long-term regret, and it’s something that leaders should avoid at all costs!

Quiet quitting can have a ripple effect that extends far beyond the individual who is disengaging. When a leader quietly quits, it sends a message to the people they lead that it’s okay to do the same. This can lead to widespread disengagement and a decrease in productivity. Additionally, quiet quitting can foster an environment of fear and insecurity, as it creates tension and conflict within the team, reducing team morale. This can put a strain on their colleagues who are left to pick up the slack, along with dealing with the emotional fallout of their coworker’s ‘departure’.

In some cases, quiet quitting can also lead to legal trouble. For example, if a leader is unhappy with the way their company is handling a certain issue, they might quietly quit by leaking sensitive information to the press or a competitor. This could land the company in hot water and potentially damage its reputation.

As a leader, your reputation will continue to precede you. Quietly quitting compromises your credibility, you never know when your name is being spoken in rooms and it’s best to show up for yourself and your team in the midst of the down times. If you remember anything from your leadership journey, it should be ‘Your Network is Your Networth’! Engaging in the subtle but passive trend of quiet quitting can damage your relationships with those in the organization—relationships that are essential for career advancement.

While quiet quitting might seem like an innocuous way to deal with unhappiness at work, there are other options to resolve any issues you may have. The best way to avoid quiet quitting is to open up about your feelings before things reach a boiling point. If you’re feeling unhappy or frustrated at work, talk to your boss or another trusted leader in your company. Find out if anything can be done to improve the situation. Additionally, try to stay positive and remember that every job has its ups and downs. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling to cope with stress or other challenges. Always remember, leading from the front, requires, leading from within.

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