WHEN IS IT TIME TO LEAVE?
The NY Times carried executive director Greg Smith’s comments on leaving Goldman Sachs. The article went viral. Here are some lessons for us all on deciding when it is time to go. I’ve excerpted Smith’s comments below. My observations are in italic.
“I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks.
1. Does your company care about serving customers?
I am sad to say that…I no longer have the pride, or the belief.
2. Do you believe in what you are doing?
I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.
3. Can you recommend your company to others?
The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing.
4. Do your leaders set an example in doing the right thing or do these words ring empty?
It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.
5. Do customers trust your company – not you – Do they trust your company?
It just doesn’t feel right to me any more.”
If you can’t answer yes to these 5 questions, then maybe it is time.