Three Sure Ways to Lose Your Best Talent

Posted on 13 March 2019 by Geoff Lorigan

Author: Geoff Lorigan

One of our former talented interns from the UK was snapped up by a global consulting firm four years ago…

To my surprise, during our lunchtime catch-up here in London today, she hinted that she was looking for new pastures. At the end of lunch, I asked why was she looking around.

Here were her three most important reasons:

  1. Patronising Bosses’ Boss – “she speaks down to me”
  2. Unpredictable Bosses Boss – “she tells me one thing one month and completely the opposite the next”
  3. Post Office Box Style Direct Boss – “not a bad guy but passes on orders and says I know it doesn’t make sense, but this is what the top brass expect”

Seems her employer’ s largest global competitor is keen to grab the opportunity to snatch significant specialised experience, talent, and client connection from the market leader – “Frankly we want you – how do we get you?”


Who doesn’t want to be wanted?, Who doesn’t want an exciting place to work?, Who doesn’t want to broaden one’s experience and build one’s personal brand?, Who doesn’t expect to have great role models leading them?, Who doesn’t want to have the opportunity at work to play to their strengths and to flourish?

Certainly, that is the expectation of this young talented, well educated,  ‘high potential’ woman who learns and operates at the speed-of-light.


As leaders, we all need to start asking insightful questions (rather than making assumptions)  – “how is your capacity for extra work? What tasks do I need to relieve you of? What can I do to support you being your best?

If we don’t, someone else will. Consequently, we run the risk of being ‘fired’ by our best talent and in turn diminishing our leadership brand.

It seems to me that staff engagement factors are very similar to customer engagement drivers. If we treat our staff like we ‘should’ treat our customers, they will RAVE about us (and our organisation) to everyone they meet; go the extra mile; and not be looking for greener pastures.