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The Emotion Behind the Job

13 Oct The Emotion Behind the Job

Yesterday I was talking with a professional whom I tried to recruit away from his company.  As a recruiter, this is a daily event for me, and over the past two decades, I have seen first-hand that people will indeed turn away better opportunities, all because of the loyalty to their boss one level above them.

“I love it here!” he said.  “Even if it’s a better opportunity or even if I could make more money, I wouldn’t leave here.”

This is a frequent response from professionals, and there is a formula for why this happens.  And as in all formulas, we can pick it apart, learn from it, and reverse engineer it back together again into a replicable model.

There are four core focus areas that cause people to remain loyal to their boss:

  • They feel understood. As a leader, you need to listen to your team.
  • They feel appreciated.
  • They feel challenged.
  • They feel connected.


Notice the common verb in the above phrases.  Feel.  Yes, it’s emotional. If people were going to make intellectual career decisions, then my job as a headhunter would be a lot easier.  I’d just have them write up the pros and cons of each option and select the one that weighed heavily in their favor.

But we are emotional animals. As a boss, you are the leader. You are the one people are looking to who can define the relevance of their work and the meaning, the feeling, connected to it.

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