Afew weeks ago, I watched with great interest the story of how an Anchorage, Alaska-based television news reporter resigned her position live, on the air. If you missed it, you can watch it below. (Note: Lower the volume at at 1:01 to 1:03 if you want to skip the expletive for younger viewers.)
I quit my job to start my own business several years ago, so this story was of particular interest to me. Let me give you a little background.
Charlo Greene was a reporter for KTVA, the CBS affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska. On September 21, after reporting for some time on the topic of marijuana legalization in Alaska, Ms. Greene once again reported on the topic. Toward the end of the segment, captured in the above video, she used inappropriate language (the “F” word) to quit her job live on the air. She also announced that she had been the president of the Alaska Cannabis Club during the time that she had been reporting on the issue for the news station.
After her resignation, Ms. Greene released a video to share the reasons for her actions, saying: “There comes a time in each and every one of our lives when you have to choose whether to continue to spectate, or stand up for what's right.”
I couldn't agree more.
However, there also comes a time when, as a leader, you must chose between taking the high road in an uncomfortable situation, or taking the low road where you humiliate and embarrass others. Ms. Greene chose the latter, and it was not a good look.
Leaders Can Do Better
I'm sharing my opinion and commentary on this issue because I think it's important for us as small business owners to remember that we are leaders. As we rise to our full leadership capabilities, we can choose to be either a positive influence or a negative influence.
Ms. Greene seems to have accomplished her goal of gaining traction for a cause she believes in, but she did it at the expense of people who trusted her.
Some say the ends justify the means. I do not agree.
Ms. Green's actions show how not to quit your job.
Since so many of our members are working daily toward the goal of quitting their job so they can manage their businesses full-time, I thought I'd share another approach.
How to Quit Your Job
1. You can put yourself first without humiliating others
You can end your employment relationship and start your new life without biting the hand that feeds you, and without shaming and embarrassing your professional colleagues. Be gracious and thankful for the opportunities the job provided for you. Do what you have to do without making others pay an unfair price for your new freedom.
2. You do not have to use expletives to make your point
It feels really good to curse sometimes. But there is a place and a time for it. Plan to quit your job in a way that does not make them feel uncomfortable. Be gracious. Your goal is make a new choice for yourself, not to put down others who have chosen a different path.
3. Differences should be settled in private
If you have a beef with your boss, or with a task you have been asked to perform in your job, weigh your options in advance, but don't act in a way that is clearly designed to catch senior management off guard and make them look stupid and incompetent in public. That's a bad move on many levels, not the least of which is that it exposes you for the bitter person you are, and perhaps more importantly, demonstrates that you cannot be trusted.
4. Resigning with class preserves and strengthens relationships
As you resign your position, you may not foresee a time when you will want to be associated with some of the colleagues you will soon be leaving. Your perspective is limited. You don't know what the future holds. You may need your colleagues again, or you may be in a position to help them one day. Preserve the relationship if you possibly can. It's part of standing up for what's right.
It's comes down to integrity
This really comes down to integrity. No one is ever right all the time, and we all make mistakes as we maneuver in and out of life's difficult situations.
Just remember that, when you look back, one of the most pivotal times in your life will be the time you leave the “security” of a traditional job to strike out on your own.
How you do that will reflect either positively or negatively on your business.
For the sake of your business, your reputation, and the people who trust you, do it the right way.
Best and Success!