Leading Made Simple


QUIET QUITTING, the humongous, untapped opportunity in today’s business environment!

Quiet quitting is a popular and essentially wrong term because people aren’t quitting. What it turns out to be is employees are not willing to go the “extra mile”, they are not going “above and beyond” what they perceive to be hired and paid for.

Quiet quitting

So, what is happening?

A good way to describe this “quiet quitting” situation, which is not new but better recognized now, is lack of engagement. According to a new survey by the Gallup Institute earlier this year only one third of people indicate that they are “engaged in their workplace”. To be exact it 32% on average, down from 36% in 2020. An additional interesting detail represents that employees working in a remote or hybrid work environment are 37% engaged while only 29% working in a traditional pre-pandemic workplace consider themselves engaged.

And here is the upside of the story, a fantastic opportunity!

Let’s start with a broad assertion based on the numbers reported from companies everywhere:

  • profits are up,
  • margins are good,
  • basic indicators on most productivity measures have improved,
  • overall, it is actually pretty good…

All these positive business results are generated while over 60% of employees admit being dis-engaged or “quiet quitting”!

Let that sink in for a moment…

Unfortunately, being “good” is the biggest hurdle to overcome in becoming “excellent”! This notion is valid for businesses, organizations, and individuals alike.

Based on a multitude of research conducted by specialized firms and prestigious universities, the main reason for strong employee engagement is effective leadership. And this is where the moment of truth will surface: how can current leaders recognize the fact that their leadership behavior is the key to enhancing and maximizing employee engagement. It does not require strength and courage to admit success, but it requires great courage to recognize limitations on oneself! 

Jim Harter, Chief Scientist of Workplace & Well-being at the Gallup institute stated in a recent interview with Anna Kaplan of TODAY:” It all starts at the top to combat quiet quitting. Managers are really important, and that does start at the top, it is important to have the right kind of conversations at the right time so that people do know what’s expected of them and their role, and how their work connects to something bigger.”

In the end it is a high level of leadership effectiveness that will impact overall employee engagement. I live by a simple definition for leadership:

Leadership is creating results THROUGH people.

The key word is “through”. When we look at the word through in this context, we can find an unfolding complexity which leads to a multitude of elements or features. My claim in illustrating the matter is 50% of effective leadership is self-leadership, which contains its own set of elements for evaluation. After that it is about the way a leader communicates and interacts with people, how the leader sets, plans, and follows through on goals, what the leader does to create an atmosphere of positive accountability, an environment of psychological security, creativity, and innovation while maintaining reasonable discipline and structure. It all is encompassed in “Effective Leadership”.

quiet quitting

What I am talking about are all acquired skills for which there are limited formal education options. And even if there were such classes, they would potentially not be effective at college age, admittedly a speculative assumption on my part based on practical experience. The point is today’s leaders can acquire the skills to enhance their effectiveness any time they choose to or when they become introspective enough to realize that they have unexploited potential. The most important requirement to do so is the self-awareness and recognition of the untapped leadership effectiveness potential in oneself!

For most leaders, “good” is the biggest roadblock to becoming excellent!

Here is a quick self-assessment for leadership enhancement potential, it is free of charge, too! Take stock and open the door for your development.

Lead2succeed, stay safe, and help your team to succeed! If you would like to explore additional ideas about effective leadership or business strategy let’s talk!

Manfred Gollent

Manfred Gollent is a certified business coach and the founder of QLI International LLC. He works with a variety of clients from Fortune 500 executives to small business entrepreneurs on leadership and strategy development since 2006. Prior to founding QLI International, Manfred has been a turn-around executive in a Fortune 500 company with global operations. During his 30+ years in the corporate world, he led the rebuilding of underperforming subsidiaries in the United States, Europe, and Asia by developing their leadership team and organization, restructuring their market portfolio, operations and efficiency to improve results toward meeting investor’s expectations. Aside from his international corporate career, Manfred has served on company boards in the UK, Belgium, Norway, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, and the United States.