Leadership Lesson: Fire yourself? Why, when and how

Published in the Phoenix Business Journal on September 6, 2019

Fed up? Leaders, managers, executives, individuals, owners, entrepreneurs, and board members often resign by their own choice. Even in good times. And good times may be the best time for a change. Or, bad times might be the best timeframe for others. Your choice.

The signals and symptoms for change are usually “in the air.” Right in front of us. Our feelings and intuition play a key role when it is time to move on. First, the question of “why” needs be examined in a realistic way. 

Then take action – and the key questions are “when” and “how?” 

Crucial conditions

The good. You are successful, you have helped an organization improve and thrive, and you are recognized for your contributions. You have every reason to be satisfied. So why quit? 

The bad. You are unable to expand and grow no matter what, you are far better than you can currently show, and you have tried everything to progress – but cannot. You are even well liked and well paid. What is wrong?

The ugly. You feel pending doom, the organization is failing, rumors are rumbling, and even good people who are leaving are not being replaced. Why do you stay? 

The big “whys”

Here are some possible reasons, signals and symptoms, about why you want to make a change. You … 

  • Are bored and ready for something more stimulating
  • Want to be in a different work environment. 
  • Would like to turn your business over to someone else with new skills.
  • Desire to move and be closer to family or in a different geography.
  • Need to rest for a while, then go back to work.
  • Want to change your career or type of work.
  • Retirement or semi-retirement is now attractive.
  • Wish to turn your job over to someone else who has additional strengths.
  • Interested in taking a lesser position elsewhere.
  • Feel underutilized and want to grow.
  • Dislike your management.

Need more reasons?

Even more “whys”

You … 

  • Are underpaid.
  • Do not feel recognized or rewarded.
  • Are pushed to work harder and longer and feel like a machine.
  • Want to spend more time with my family and friends.
  • See that your company is old and stodgy, and in a declining industry.
  • Do work that you do not like.
  • Cannot get promoted and are in a dead end situation.
  • Want to work part time.
  • Are not asked for input and are not listened to.
  • Question your company’s ethics.
  • Cannot trust others in your environment.

Now, is it time for a change?

The “when” and “how”

Lay out your exit plan with all the steps, milestones, and dates. Base this plan upon why you are leaving and what is your desired end point, no matter what it is. 

Start a quiet, methodical search to find your next opportunity before quitting your current role. Alternatively, if you have the financial resources, quit, get some rest, then do a thorough search for your next job – or career. Take the initiative in managing your change. 

“Change brings opportunity.” – Nido Qubein, American businessman and university president.

The bottom lines

Decide. Get moving. Understand why you want to leave your current role. Observe the signals and symptoms. And, know everything about your intended new role. Lay out your plan and commit to follow it. Take a deep breath. Act.

Click here to read this article on the Phoenix Business Journal site.