I used to work with this guy, we’ll call them Leonard (real person), many years ago.
At the end of a project, Leonard had a horrific review, he thought he could skate by on past achievements and not have to put the work in.
Turns out his manager thought otherwise and was let go.
Leonard pleaded and pleaded and was brought back but with a reduced salary and responsibilities.
Two things could have happened at this point;
- Leonard could have said no way, I’m out of here, I can’t believe you’re treating me like this and gone somewhere else.
- Leonard could realize the errors of their way and come back strong.
Not everyone can do #2 because it means humbling yourself, realizing what you need to work on, and working twice as hard to get back to where you were, surpassing it and showing what you are truly capable of.
I had never seen the Leonard effect in action until I saw Leonard do all these things and more. The “effect” part came in the change it hand on this team when they saw what he could do, how much he cared, how badly he wanted it, and the level he took it to.