Alchemical Thoughts

Archive for May 31st, 2011

Bob Sutton recently wrote a column in the June 2011 edition of the Harvard Business Review entitled “On Stepping Down Gracefully.” It is a small piece giving advice to managers and CEOs on how to step down from their high posts with grace. I found it interesting since I always say that a big mistake a lot of dictators make is that they do not know when to quit. I’ve joked with friends that, if I ever became a dictator, I would certainly not overstay my welcome. Once I’ve set up a nice nest egg in some nation without extradition treaties and good tight banking, and I’ve left the country in pretty good shape, I am out of there.

But joking aside, managers often do not know when to quit. And even when they yield to a new manager, they persist in hanging around and imposing their shadow on the new guy or gal. Mr. Sutton has some advice for those folks: don’t. In the end, when it is time to leave, people will remember how you left your organization, how you made your exit. As Sutton writes, “will you be remembered as a selfish narcissist or a selfless steward?” If you are a manager, you may not be able to fix any bad things you did during your tenure, but you can decide to leave in a good note and thus be remembered with some dignity and positivity.

Sutton was offering a free PDF of the article via his blog (there were only 100 copies. I managed to snatch one. By the time of this writing, they may be gone). However, you should be able to still find the article via your local library.


May 2011
« Apr   Jun »


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 470 other followers


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 470 other followers

%d bloggers like this: