Quiet quitting is a trap: Brighten project leadership development for wildly ambitious leaders

Quiet quitting is a trap

thought leadership Sep 03, 2023



The Trap of Quiet Quitting

I've been thinking about the concept of 'Quiet Quitting' for ages - ever since it hit the zeitgeist over a year ago. It was SUCH a buzz word that I initially wanted to leave it alone until I felt I could share a genuine, fresh take on it. 

Dissecting the Buzzword: What is Quiet Quitting?
'Quiet Quitting' isn’t just another workplace term; it’s an emotional state. It's when an employee, instead of officially resigning, mentally checks out and only contributes the bare minimum. No enthusiasm, no innovation—just the essentials to not get fired.

The Illusion of Safety in Silence
On the surface, quiet quitting seems like a protective mechanism—a silent rebellion against a role that doesn't satisfy or a workplace that feels stifling. It’s seen as a way to avoid conflict or to coast along without drawing attention. But is it really as safe as it seems?

The High Price of Doing Just Enough
Quiet quitting doesn’t merely alter workplace dynamics; it erodes our self-worth and potential. By just skimming the surface, we deprive ourselves of the satisfaction derived from a job well done. It’s not just about the accolades or promotions, but the intrinsic fulfillment and growth that comes from meaningful work.

It's easy to think like "AHA - I got YOU" when you're coasting, and thinking that you're getting the best deal and your employer or business is the one losing.  In reality, it's the individual who loses out the most. Think about the lost learning experiences, the reduced opportunities for growth, the satisfaction of being proud of what you're creating and the way it shapes our self-image.


Reassessing Your Role and Intent

Every job starts with a glimmer of excitement—a vision. Reflect on the initial days:

🌱 What were your dreams and vision of how you could impact the company’s growth?
🥸 Have those been realised?

What about the personal dimension:

❤️‍🔥 What skills did you hope to acquire?
🚀 Where did you envision this role taking your career?

Personal Growth and The Big Picture

Consider your current state of professional development. If your skills and experiences aren't aligning with your initial hopes, it’s a signal to reevaluate—not retreat into the shadows.

Balancing Act: Ambition and Personal Well-being
Advocating against quiet quitting doesn’t mean neglecting life/work balance. Doing more than the bare minimum doesn't translate to endless hours at the office, sacrificing personal time, or burning out. It’s about being present, engaged, and giving your best during your designated work hours. You can still have a job you enjoy, delivering work you're proud of while also having a personal life and zero burnout. 

The Constructive Path: What to Do Instead of Quiet Quitting
If you find yourself veering towards quiet quitting, consider these steps:

  • Communicate: Talk to a mentor or supervisor about your feelings.
  • Seek growth opportunities: Maybe a different project or skill set reignites your passion.
  • Reflect and recalibrate: If the role isn’t serving you, consider changes, but make them actively and openly. Remember - this job isn't your only option, your options are endless.


Here some more questions to help you reflect on your current role:

Self-awareness: Have I ever noticed or felt the urge to 'quiet quit' in any aspect of my leadership role? What were the triggers, and how did I address them?

Empathy and Observations: Are there team members who seem to be 'quiet quitting'? What signs am I observing, and have I approached them to understand their perspectives?

Growth and Development: Am I providing ample opportunities for growth, learning, and open communication within my team to prevent feelings of stagnation or disengagement?

Balancing Expectations: How am I ensuring that while I expect the best from my team, I am also respecting their need for work-life balance and not pushing them toward burnout?

Leadership Evolution: In what ways am I continually refining my leadership approach to ensure that my team feels motivated, valued, and engaged, rather than feeling the need to retreat into 'quiet quitting'?


'Quiet Quitting' is a trap — an obstacle that stands between you and your true potential. As you navigate your leadership career, remember to stay engaged, continue growing, but also respect and protect your personal well-being. It’s a balance, one that promises fulfilment, growth, and genuine satisfaction.


Good luck!






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