Recently I was listening to one of my favorite sports talk radio personalities, Dan Patrick. He currently has his own show on Fox Sports Network, but is most well-known for his time as an anchor on SportsCenter while with ESPN. He and Keith Olbermann led SportsCenter for many years in the 90’s and the pair became wildly popular in the sports world. For a sportscaster, being an anchor on SportsCenter is kind of like leading the nightly news for ABC, CBS, or NBC…you can’t really go up.
Despite having the most coveted position in sports broadcasting, Patrick made the decision in 2007 to leave ESPN, the World Wide Leader in Sports, to start his own sports talk radio show. So why would someone who’s seemingly at the top of his profession decide to abruptly leave? Why would Dan Patrick walk away from unparalleled exposure and a lot of money at ESPN, for less exposure and presumably less money?
The answer is simple: he hated his boss and he didn’t feel appreciated. On one of his recent shows he spoke candidly about his exit from ESPN. He said that he rarely was given any positive feedback, and that he didn’t feel valued by his supervisor/management. In Patrick’s case, those two things were more powerful and more influential than money and exposure.
People leave jobs for a lot of reasons: better opportunities, more money, career change, relocation, etc. However, many people leave their jobs for the same reasons Patrick left ESPN. Often times, people don’t quit their job, they quit their boss. If you’re in a management/supervisory position, take the time to evaluate how you treat others on your team. When was the last time you went out of your way to acknowledge the great work of one of your team members? If it’s been a while, take a few minutes to write a note of appreciation, or simply walk down the hall and tell them how much you appreciated their help with project X, Y, or Z. Make sure that those you supervise don’t only hear the feedback that you HAVE to give, but that they also hear appreciative and positive feedback.