If you lead people, you know that at some point or another a teammate is going to leave. If their performance and commitment were lacking, it’s probably a good thing. If they were a top performer, then you’re likely quite bummed to see them go.
Regardless of why they left, once they permanently step out, you as the leader have to step it up.
Time and again I see leaders who, for whatever reason, are reluctant to get back into the weeds on a temporary basis to help their teams through times when they’re down a teammate or two. Sometimes it’s pride; they don’t want to be back doing tasks they’ve since risen “above.” Sometimes it’s their own heavy workload; they don’t feel they can take on anything else.
The reality is that regardless of why they left, you’re responsible for the gap that exists in their absence.
When you lose someone on your team you must step in and help fill that void (until you get it filled) so that your team can continue to hit their goals.
When we step in to fill in for a teammate’s absence:
- We put what’s best for the organization and the team above what’s best for us
- We earn the respect of our teammates and demonstrate our commitment to our team
- We help keep the momentum going
- We stay relevant
- We empower our people to continue to meet deadlines, achieve production numbers, hit benchmarks, etc.
- We act as a leader of our people instead of a leader over our people
And let’s be honest…when we’re the ones helping to fill the void, we usually get the job filled a bit faster, don’t we?
If you have a gap on your team, don’t leave your teammates hanging. Work alongside them while you work to find the right person to fill the open position.