Dear SaaStr: What Are Some Signs A VP or Manager Is Going to Leave?

A few signs someone senior is likely going to leave:

  • They start arguing with you — when they didn’t before, or more than before. A clear #1 sign of frustration, when it starts seemingly out of nowhere. Especially when it sort of seems to come out of the blue.  Sometimes, the can sort of creep up on you.  You think it’s just a phase, or something to discuss, or work through.  But when they start to argue just to argue … it’s a sign they are done.
  • They stop following up as well with customers and prospects. A clear sign of disengagement.
  • They start doing odd deals. Unapproved discounts, or odd contracts.
  • They stop following up on things they said they’d do. None of us are perfect here, but if follow-up abruptly changes … that’s a clear sign of someone starting to check out.
  • They stop recruiting good people.  Recruiting slows down, and the folks they do bring in are of lower quality than the folks they used to bring in.
  • They tell you last minute they are taking a relatively long vacation.  Take your vacations.  But leaders never tell you the week before that they’ll be out all of next week.
  • They don’t recommend the startup to their friends. It does say a lot.

This doesn’t mean you want to keep them, however, at this point.  If you see too many of these signs, it probably just isn’t a fit anymore.

But it does mean you need to recognize they may already be planning to leave.  Or even, in their minds, halfway out the door.

A related post here:

By The Time You Give Them a Raise, They’re Already Out The Door

(argument image from here)

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