A Cautionary Tale about Delaying

“Delays can be dangerous”: My mother said that a lot when I was growing up. Usually while she dove across the dinner table to snag the last piece of pie. (If you ever share a meal with me, don’t worry—I have left that Darwinian dinner table etiquette behind.)

Caution: Could this be you?

My client, an experienced executive, was new to her organization and soon ran smack into the Great Resignation. She needed to introduce herself to her people, humanize herself, let them know that she listens (subtext: maybe you’ve lost trust in the company, but you can trust me).

She agreed to let me write a series of short, biweekly emails with a mix of stories about why she’s passionate about the work, a profile of someone on the team who’s done something extraordinary, and a few bits of business advice/book recommendations.

She agreed to the project in December, but it took six weeks to schedule our first meeting. I wrote the first email in January—she loved it! But she never SENT it. By mid-March, she pulled the plug on the project.

Why? “Too much employee turnover.”

If she’d jumped on the project with enthusiasm back in December, she would have half a dozen or so newsletters out in the world, Half a dozen chances to connect with wavering employees. Instead, she did nothing and the problem intensified.

Moral: Even the best-written words can’t help you if no one reads them.

How are you handling the Great Resignation? Does my {former} client’s situation make you wince?

Delays can be dangerous, indeed. And expensive. Be confident in your communications. And if you want to make sure you’re sending the right message—let’s talk.

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