Why do managers quit their jobs

What now? When managers are laid off

What now? When managers are laid off

The company strategy is changed, leadership mistakes come to light, and sometimes you have to make shareholders positive: There are many reasons why managers are killed. Not everyone reacts confidently to this. Rules for a skilful exit and the time afterwards.

From Vera Sohmer

Daniel Kehl (name changed) did not yet fully understand what was in store for him in the troubled company. His partner, however, saw it crystal clear: "They will soon ditch you." Immediately afterwards she sent a wise recommendation: "Say goodbye now and look around for alternatives". He took her advice: the manager said "Arrivederci" of his own accord. He did it upright and without worrying. He later learned that he had actually been on the hit list.

Humility is a virtue

Say goodbye with decency and style - especially well-known top managers do not always master this discipline. If they have to vacate their posts, they do a lot of things that are inappropriate and leave a miserable impression: they express themselves disparagingly about their successors or give them "clever" advice. Others write books describing themselves as victims of adversity and intrigue. One would think that such outstanding and responsible positions require maturity and sovereignty.

What's wrong? "Many executives have not learned to deal with power," says the former HR manager and current management consultant Markus Marthaler (see interview). There is a lack of awareness that power is something borrowed and ephemeral. And the posts are not there to polish the ego, to enjoy privileges and to feel like something better. They only serve to use one's manpower and skills for the benefit of the company. So to practice modesty and humility.

Don't grieve in public: Top people know their half-life

There is no reason to react in public in a know-it-all, offended, defiant or revenge-minded manner. Top people know what they are getting into - and that their half-life can be short, emphasizes career advisor Claire Barmettler. "It's part of the job, and if someone feels that it is too much of a shame, they are unsuitable for such an exposed position." Even if a manager has been maneuvered out of bounds without any misconduct, the motto is: Always remain confident, never step after and never wash dirty laundry.

Because: decisions by the board of directors are often tactical and strategic. A previous CEO may no longer be suitable or opportune for a realignment. It stands for the conventional concept. But they want to set a new example for customers and financiers. In other words: The old manager has to go, a new one should signal the departure. "The risk of having to go almost overnight is increased in such positions. Part of the usually very high wages can be viewed as compensation for this," emphasizes Bob Schneider, a specialist in management training and outplacements.

The same applies to top executives: Self-esteem and success should be separated

Separating between yourself and the function you have lost: Many cannot do that. Markus Marthaler knows former executives who identified themselves so strongly through their position and the importance that went with it that "after losing the business card" there was practically nothing left. Some fell into the hole and into deep depression. Others had a massive addiction problem. They hadn't even noticed how much alcohol and stimulants they had actually consumed in their busy and hectic everyday work.

Admitting at such a point that they need professional help is often difficult for former top executives. In doing so, they not only endanger themselves, but also their partnership and family life. "It is important to understand that self-esteem does not only depend on professional success," says Bob Schneider. A truism, perhaps, but easier said than done for someone whose life and pursuits have so far been focused solely on career, reputation and influence. And just as difficult for someone whose - exaggerated - self-image has rarely been directly and openly questioned by former employees. According to Schneider, such "narcissistic personalities" are common in management positions.

There are many ways to make a comeback

Whether and when it is advisable to take on a new position depends on the personal situation and the conditions under which someone had to leave, says Claire Barmettler. As a rule, those who have been killed first get out what they can afford financially without any problems. And what's more, it's not the stupidest thing. The custom is to disappear from the scene and activate the network, only to come back to the public six to twelve months later with a new challenge, says Markus Marthaler. The most recent example is the former head of the SNB, Philipp Hildebrand, who is starting a top job at asset manager Blackrock.

Gaining a foothold in another industry after a career breakdown and accepting financial losses, there are also these examples. Those who are 50 or older often see an alternative in self-employment with a reduced workload. Daniel Kehl doesn't regret his new beginning. After a long period of reflection and reflection, he trained as a management consultant and health coach at the age of 52 and is now his own boss. That friends and acquaintances distanced themselves from the previously well-off couple and the neighbors suddenly behaved strangely - what the heck.

(Photo: Richard Clark, istockphoto)

Interview with Markus Marthaler, management consultant:
"Managers who have been laid off rarely take responsibility"
To the interview