Employee & Employer – equal rights?

Never ever.

I find it immensely intriguing that certain things can be perceived and defined differently, depending on the position we are in within the company structure.

It seems imaginable and perfectly understandable when some employees decide to leave company for almost any given reason. They want to earn more, they want to develop themselves in some particular directions – managerial for example, they feel burnt out by daily routine and repetitive tasks, they don`t see any “sexy” career path ahead of them or they just need a change after years in the same business environment … . Sounds familiar, right? Most of us have heard it many times. And it sounds reasonable and like nothing but to accept. So, they decide to “continue their careers outside the company”.

But what if you as an employer actually feel the same way? I mean, you as an employer need to increase the company’s efficiency and profitability. As you are supposed to push the organization forward in a specific direction, you need to have your staff with appropriate skills and attitudes on board to be able to do so. And there it comes, the feeling of being burnt out by ever-lasting explaining, motivating, empowering someone without a meaningful result.

You are tired of wasting your time leading someone who doesn’t want to be led at all and, last but not least, you are not able to fire up any engagement and passion in this person. Also sounds familiar, I am sure. The CEO’s main role is to deliver, after all. You are expected to do so. Therefore, you decide to “continue your employer career without him/her”.

Would you agree the two situations have a lot in common, considering the final result?

You bet I used to share this view. But nothing of the sort! The final result is the same indeed. However, what I have recently discovered, based on my own experience, is that only some employees` exceptional mistakes can justify employer’s decision to terminate a contract in the team’s eyes.

What if the employer decides to get divorced? Will the team accept the fact equally smoothly and respectfully? The bad news is that they will not. I am asking myself: is it fair? While recently representing the employer’s side much more often than an employee’s, my conclusion is: it is far from being fair.

I am still learning in my life as a CEO not to blame the Team for such judgement. This compassion for the individual is a lot more common than compassion for the company. And yes, I am sometimes sorry that this view of the world can be so one-sided. I experience the feeling of loneliness in taking such decisions, not to mention my frustration coming from the fact of not being understood. You may know what I mean, the syndrome of loneliness on top. I am still learning to accept that not everyone and not always will be happy with everything I do. I am learning to accept the fact that I am not a silver dollar to be liked by everyone. It’s a part of the leaderess’ life after all. Still, a long way ahead.

Nevertheless, when your leading style is based on developing people, it is worth to remember that there are no winners in such situation. We are all losers. Always.

The only thing that can possibly be done is striving to make others think it was the best way out for all involved.

Every cloud has its sliver lining, they say. I am looking forward to see it in the sky.

“Leadership is not wielding authority – it is empowering people.”

Becky Brodin,
Program Director