Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Two Weeks Notice"

Chris Dixon's post "12 months notice" reminded me of an experience I had a few years back. Dixon writes about the two ways todo business - He calls them "legalistic based or "trust" based. I prefer to call it trust or not.

We had hired a very talented young exec a few years out of school. I enjoyed having him in the office, appreciated his dedication and helped him develop his business. Regardless of his future career choices, I considered our relationship a nice addition to my network.

I always expected he would either go back to graduate school or want more industry specific experience. We had discussed this and I was prepared to help him in either of these endeavors. I anticipated that when he was considering his next steps that we would discuss his options openly. It was a very surprising to me when he came to tell me that he had accepted a position with a client and was giving his 2 weeks.

I don't know where/when "two weeks notice" became a status quo expectation but when you as an exec/manager are entrusted with client relationships and ongoing long term projects "two weeks notice" can be a fast way to damage your credibility. If you are not on your way to a competitive position, and you value your relationship with your co-workers, then consider that giving only "two weeks notice" can be a very effective way to damage those relationships and your professional reputation.