Where all the good leaders are going—and how to bring them back

Where all the good leaders are going

Much has been said about the impact of the Great Resignation on the hourly workforce, but hourly workers are not the only ones leaving behind jobs where they are overworked and undervalued. Executive leaders are jumping ship, too—a whopping 70% say they are considering quitting their jobs.

As a headhunter, I’ve seen this firsthand. Company after company has approached me seeking to fill leadership roles. But finding talent is increasingly harder.

Executives are not necessarily leaving for new jobs with higher paychecks—many have decided to ditch their 60-hour work weeks entirely. So if we can no longer retain top talent with higher salaries, what can we do to get them to stay?


Traditionally, executives receive top dollar in exchange for near-total dedication to their jobs. Many have spent their entire careers on the proverbial hamster wheel, running faster and faster until they burn out.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many of these hard-working executives to slow down for the first time in decades. They had the space to re-evaluate their priorities, asking, “What have I missed out on all these years?”

After making a six- to seven-figure salary for a decade or more, executives realized they don’t have to keep working to be financially secure. This was their chance to get off the hamster wheel for good. Many left their jobs to spend more time with their families, pursue hobbies, or take long-awaited vacations.

Executives aren’t willing to return to business as usual if they don’t have to. If we want to find employees with the talent to lead our companies, we need to provide better options than “work yourself into the ground or leave.”

Our CEO, Robert Newland writes on where here all the good leaders are going—and how to bring them back, read on more here.