Monday, January 23, 2012

About Quitting

Quit CovIn 2008 I published a book, How To Stay When You Want to Quit; Re-scripting your life from Whiner to Winner. I wrote it a few years before that but it sat in a drawer for a while. Before that it was a speech I gave to a few people who were feeling beaten down by work and before that ... well, I lived most of it.

The story is about two friends who are pressing hard at their careers. One is fortunate to be working with a great boss who has mentored and challenged her to be her best.  Unfortunately the other has had the opposite experience. He has been through a heavy rotation of managers, many of whom spoke a good game but never really showed up to play.

It’s a non-traditional business book in that it’s half screenplay and half workbook. I wrote it in the hopes that others would pick up a few tips they could use to help bring positive action to themselves or others who were disillusioned in their jobs.

Naturally I was thrilled to be asked to participate in Ken Blanchard’s LeadershipLiveCast, “Quit and Stayed” on January 25, 2012. As a recovering quitter I know how tempting it is to whine and blame everything on burnout even if you’re acting like an arsonist. For me, I knew I had to learn how to stay, even though I wanted to quit. So I began to re-script my life from whiner to winner.


I started with my attitude; I began to look at things as challenges aching to be solved, not insurmountable problems. Next I began to question what it was I really wanted? The answer didn’t come right away because I was so entrenched by all the things I didn’t want. So I tried a different tactic and asked myself, “Why are you still here?”  After all, when people want to quit, they quit. When they don’t, it’s because some secondary benefit is being met and usually it’s for one of three reasons.


  1. To work on your personal development.

  2. To work with enriching people.

  3. To work on something bigger than yourself.


Figuring that out helped me stay during a rough patch, It helped me to continue to provide for my family and as a manager helped me to reengage with my coworkers.


As a leader it put me in a better frame of mind and I used the same questions to help those who I saw were mentally quitting.


  • What’s going right?

  • What do you really want?

  • What’s keeping you here?

  • What will you do in the meantime?


Most people aren’t going to stay in the same position let alone same industry for their whole career. As a leader, if you can help them get to the next place faster, you’ll both be more engaged and productive.

I hope you’ll be able to join the webinar this week or pick up my book. I’ve learned a few things about people, business and publishing in the time that’s passed since it came out, so I’d love to hear your stories and feedback that I may include in a new edition later in the year.