My super power is knowing exactly when someone is miserable at their job. It's not obvious for many people, but I can usually tell really quickly.
That's why when Magic Johnson went on national media to quit his job, before telling his boss, I knew the reason behind it: He was not happy with his situation. Not just sort of unhappy, but full-blown, get the heck out of this establishment, this was not what I was promised type of unhappy.
Recently, he went on ESPN and explained why he left the lakers organization, and I was glued to the TV to hear his reasoning. At about five minutes in, he said the magic (no pun intended) words: "I wasn't having fun coming to work anymore." He then goes on to explain that when he discovered that he didn't have the power to make decisions, it was time for him to leave.
There are a few good takeaways from his explaination.
If work isn't fun, then you're probably not at the right place.
Being the president of basketball operations for the Lakers sounds more fun that it actually is. It's a high-stress, high-risk, high-reward sort of job. But, as Johnson said so clearly, if it's not fun, there is no point of him coming to work. This is true for any job. If you're an entrepreneur and you're not having fun, I've got news for you; You probably started the wrong company or you need to re-evaluate your priorities.
Of course, work doesn't have to be fun all the time. Work is work. I get that. But, if you reflect on the last few weeks or months at your job and are having a hard time remembering when you had fun, then news flash, you need to do something different.
Great leaders need the ability to make decisions.
During his interview, Johnson mentioned several times that he was backstabbed and how his decision-making abilities weren't what he thought they were. So, when he wanted to fire the head coach, he actually didn't have the ability to execute it, and that irked him to no end.
And to be honest, I don't blame him for quitting. It doesn't make sense to be in an executive role where every decision you want to make is being second-guessed. If you're the founder of a company and you're hiring leaders within your organization, you must give them the power to make decisions relevant to their role. If you start micromanaging and purposefully delaying decisions your leaders are making, they won't be with the organization for too long.
Leaders want to lead, so let them lead.
If you're going to quit, tell your boss first.
I'm surprised I even have to say this, but if you're going to quit, tell your boss first. Don't quit by telling your co-workers or start rumors that you're quitting. Make sure your boss is the first to know. Simple, right?
Magic Johnson took a bold move by not only quitting without telling his boss and controlling owner of the Lakers, Jeanie Buss, first, but he then held his own impromptu press conference and quit on national TV.
Now, for Johnson, he knew what he was doing. He is already a hall of fame basketball player with plenty of business opportunities. He can afford to make a move like this.
For everyone else, I would tread carefully. When quitting your job to move to another job or start a company, I always recommend telling your immediate manager first and let them control the message on why you're leaving. It's a small world, and by giving respect to your leaders when quitting a job, you've increased your chances of doing business with them later in your career.
In summary, if you're not having fun at your job or not enjoying the company you're building, it's probably time to look for something else.