Why did your best person leave?

I was sitting in my office a few years ago when a man named Joe walked in. He was my business rockstar!  Joe was my best employee.  Upon talking, he proceeded to tell me that he was giving me notice and would be resigning from his position at the end of the month.  

I felt devastated. I had lost my best employee and I knew the significant impact this would have on my business.  

The most difficult aspect in getting this news was that I had already lost two other great employees the month before.

I knew something needed to change.

I needed to change. My business model needed a change and most importantly, my LEADERSHIP needed to change.

I wanted to become a “Brave Leader.”  I embarked on learning how to recruit and retain great employees.  In the process, I was able to identify the biggest mistakes leaders make that cause employees to leave.  I made it my mission to eradicate these mistakes in my business.

Have you ever made mistakes that have cost you great employees?

Would you love to keep and retain your best human resources?

Are you willing to adjust your leadership style or company culture?  

If you are, you will retain great employees and your business will thrive!


1. Consistently overworking your people.

“Fresh horses win races.”  There certainly are times when we need to work hard, put in extra hours and go the extra mile.  As a young leader, I tended to ask my best people to work even harder.  It was certainly tempting to lean on them even more.  I learned that my best strategy was taking care of my best people.

2. Not recognizing or rewarding good work.

At first I was afraid that “praising” people would result in them asking for a raise. I wouldn’t recognize or acknowledge their efforts to the degree they deserved.  I quickly found out that positive feedback and recognition was a truly valuable form of “compensation.”  My people wanted to be seen.  They wanted to know that I was watching and noticing their efforts.  I began to celebrate their work.

3. Failing to develop people’s skills.

One of the most important questions that employees ask themselves is “am I growing in my job?”  It became important to me to help my people grow.  It became a top priority to evaluate employee skill sets.  It was my responsibility to provide my employees with the opportunity to increase their skill-sets.

4. Not engaging their creativity.

People want to contribute.  Employees have a perspective on the business that is valuable.  Your best employees are passionate about the business’ success.  I wasn’t engaging enough in getting employee input, so I shifted this dynamic.  My employees became more engaged and owned the solutions they contributed in creating.

5. Failing to challenging people intellectually.

At first, I was giving my people regular, boring goals.  I wasn’t really stretching them to the degree possible.  MY best employees actually wanted to be challenged! I shifted this strategy.  We started goals that required them to get outside their comfort zone and they loved it!

In conclusion -

As great leaders, we certainly understand the value of retaining our best people. Treat them well and nurture their growth. Challenge your best employees and celebrate their victories. 

Being aware of the mistakes mentioned above will help you retain your best people.

Here’s to your Brave Leadership!

John Boggs

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