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Exiting a Leadership Role?

Whether you are transitioning to a new department, being promoted, or exiting the organization completely, HOW you exit is critical, to both the long-term success of the agency, as well as the immediate day to day performance and experiences of your superiors, colleagues and peers, and staff. Transitions, even positive ones, are a time of stress and uncertainty for most people, and the organization at large. Each stakeholder group in your agency will be concerned about different aspects of your transition.


It’s for these reasons and many others, that you consider exactly the best way to F.R.E.E. yourself:

F- Focus on the impact of your exiting, in terms of the tasks, workflows, intersections, and impact of your role.

R- Review and evaluate your role (ie: S.W.O.T.; progress on strategic initiatives or organizational goals; implementation or improvement of systems or processes, etc). Use the Problem, Intervention, and Results framework for thinking through your organizational impact.

E- Empower superiors, colleagues and peers, and staff to function without you. Share relevant institutional and personal knowledge.

E- Execute an effective transition plan for each of the 3 stakeholder groups: Superiors, Colleagues and Peers, and Staff.


If done well, both entering and exiting offer rich opportunities to improve systems and people performance, workflow designs, and your own personal and professional development. Ultimately for a Leader, trust is built during your entrance, encouraged by your influence, and expanded by your thoughtful and prepared exit. Without trust, every relationship implodes, especially the leader-follower bond. Without trust, it is impossible to value, connect, serve, and influence people. Without trust, communities disintegrate, agencies become polarized and ineffective, and innovation is stifled. The underlying building block of trust is understanding and valuing ourselves, which quiets our own fears, anxieties, and insecurities; thereby enabling us to value, hold space for, and positively influence those who are placed under our care and responsibility, no matter where we are on our own career and personal trajectories.


How good are you at generating, encouraging, and leveraging trust, so that you can Enter, influence, and Exit successfully? We're here to help!

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