Don’t hand ammunition to someone shooting you


One of the presidential candidates had a top aide resign last week. This happens all the time. So, what was special about this resignation? The person resigning turned in a “blistering” resignation letter. How do we know this? Because a copy of the letter was sent to the media and the letter was front page news. This was part of the plan of the person resigning. The letter detailed many problems within the campaign. Many of the problems dealt with people and culture issues.

I have no doubt, most if not all of the issues covered in the letter were discussed among management on numerous occasions. I also have no doubt that little if anything had been done to resolve the issues. This was the final straw for the person resigning. Nothing was being done and so the person was DONE. They resigned and took a lateral position with another candidate. The letter was a poison pill for the campaign as the employee was leaving. A shot at the candidate and organization as the person was walking out the door for maximum effect.

By doing nothing about the issues, the organization supplied the ammunition

A client gave me a good example of a blistering resignation letter in our first meeting. It had been made public by social media with the appropriate redactions. We discussed how many of the examples cited in the letter were true. The client stated all were true to an extent. Most were substantially true with relatively minor clarifications. It was clear the employees and ex-employees would see the letter as being true. This would carry over to any new candidates thinking about applying with this organization.

Only after it was made public did the client take the issues seriously and realize how much damage had been done to their recruiting efforts. As always the client was looking for a silver bullet. The only silver bullet I could offer was his new attitude and mindset. We then set out on a journey of fixing the problems and reinforcing them publicly as much as possible.

How much time, effort and money could have been avoided if the issues were taken seriously earlier?