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Should I stay or should I go?
Episode 88th December 2022 • How to Take the Lead • Lee Griffith and Carrie-Ann Wade
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In this episode we share our thinking for leaders who may well be questioning if they should stay or if they should leave their organisation.

At various points in your career you may find yourself in the situation where you feel like it might be time for you to move on or there might well be signals that you should be considering your next steps as a leader. We talk about the things you should consider, owning the narrative and ensuring you have the right support.

As always we share our own views, thoughts and experiences:

  • 05:02 – sometimes your face doesn’t fit anymore
  • 07:54 – leaving a corporate role
  • 10:52 – understanding if you’re ready for a new challenge
  • 17:15 – what sort of leader does your organisation need?
  • 23:23 – handling being managed out of an organisation
  • 33:38 – how do you support your team if you are moving on? 
  • 40:55 – the How to...

We share our top takeaways focused on how you create the conditions to consider whether you should stay or go as a leader. We recommend using the career priorities wheel to support your thinking and making time to reflect and consider your circumstances - DM Lee or email hello@sundayskies.com if you would like a copy.

In this episode we reference The Squiggly Career by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis. 

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Transcripts

Carrie-Ann:

anyway, we're, we're not doing a podcast series on reviewing

Carrie-Ann:

TV shows, by the way, for anyone who might have only just started

Carrie-Ann:

listening at this point in the episode,

Lee:

I think it might be my side hustle though.

Carrie-Ann:

Hello and welcome to this episode of How to Take the Lead.

Carrie-Ann:

Uh, it's episode eight already, which I can't quite believe, I dunno

Carrie-Ann:

where this series is flying by to.

Carrie-Ann:

But I am of course, joined by my partner in crime or partner in collaboration

Carrie-Ann:

depending what day of the week it is and what mischief we are getting up to.

Carrie-Ann:

So welcome Lee.

Carrie-Ann:

How are you?.

Lee:

I'm, well, actually, yes, I've just gone and had a bit of

Lee:

self care, got my nails done.

Lee:

I knew I was working a bit later today to do the recording, so I thought

Lee:

actually, you know, I'm gonna take care of myself rather than just work

Lee:

through and make it an extra long day.

Carrie-Ann:

Very nice.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm loving you.

Carrie-Ann:

Prioritizing self-care, which is something we talk a lot about in

Carrie-Ann:

terms of leaders needing to do that.

Carrie-Ann:

So some good role modeling, but I'm glad you were back

Carrie-Ann:

in time to do this recording,

Lee:

And how are you?

Carrie-Ann:

I'm alright.

Carrie-Ann:

Thank you.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm in a slight frantic frenzy, um, because I'm about to go on annual

Carrie-Ann:

leave in a few days time and I've got that horrible, you know, trying,

Carrie-Ann:

you're trying to do all of this week's work, all of the week's work while

Carrie-Ann:

you're off, kind of working out what you're gonna do for every eventuality.

Carrie-Ann:

And then you take a breath and you go, do you know what?

Carrie-Ann:

Last time I went on leave, everybody coped fine without me.

Carrie-Ann:

So why am I in such a panic

Lee:

Yeah, but you, but you hit that stage before you go away where you just think,

Lee:

why have I even bothered to book leave?

Lee:

Like I just might as well just keep working.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, just be easier if I wasn't going on holiday, but

Carrie-Ann:

I know when I'm on holiday with a good book, I'll be fine and I'm, I'm

Carrie-Ann:

gonna do some self care when I'm on holiday, I'm having a digital detox.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm not gonna be on my socials, I'm not gonna be checking my emails, not gonna

Carrie-Ann:

do any work cuz I feel like hopefully not quite until after we finished

Carrie-Ann:

recording this episode that my, my brain is feeling frazzled and I'm ready for,

Carrie-Ann:

I really, the first time in a long time, I feel really ready for a proper break.

Carrie-Ann:

So I am looking forward to it.

Lee:

Oh, well I hope you have a good one when you get there.

Carrie-Ann:

when I get there.

Carrie-Ann:

Yes.

Carrie-Ann:

We've got more important things to talk about than my holiday plans though.

Carrie-Ann:

And in this episode, we were going to explore, well, we are going to not, we

Carrie-Ann:

were, we are going to explore that point at which in your leadership, um, Journey,

Carrie-Ann:

and this happens probably more than once, where you have that thought process

Carrie-Ann:

about should you stay or should you go.

Carrie-Ann:

And I want, I wanna say it in a tune because I think it's a song,

Carrie-Ann:

but I don't actually know what song it is that it's reminding me

Lee:

the clash song, isn't it?

Lee:

I, I would attempt to sing, but if anyone that heard series one

Lee:

knows that, that isn't a good idea,

Carrie-Ann:

You don't want that as the opener to an episode, but I thank,

Carrie-Ann:

at least now I know it's the clash.

Carrie-Ann:

Should I stay or should I go?

Carrie-Ann:

So, that's what we're going to explore, in this episode.

Carrie-Ann:

And, I think we've probably all been in situations as a leader when we

Carrie-Ann:

do start to have that conversation with ourselves at the very least

Carrie-Ann:

about, is it time for me to move on?

Carrie-Ann:

Am I ready to go?

Carrie-Ann:

If something happened that might be signaling to me, uh, strongly or

Carrie-Ann:

otherwise that it's time to move on?

Carrie-Ann:

Then on reflection, I guess maybe not if you're currently in your first

Carrie-Ann:

leadership role, maybe you've not quite got into that head space yet.

Carrie-Ann:

But I think it's something that, that we consider throughout our leadership

Carrie-Ann:

career and does happen to us.

Carrie-Ann:

So before we get into the nitty gritty of offering some words of

Carrie-Ann:

wisdom and hopefully some advice and some of our thoughts around that.

Carrie-Ann:

I just wanted to explore some of our own experiences in this space around

Carrie-Ann:

making those decisions about moving on and, and when it might be time to go.

Carrie-Ann:

And if you'll indulge me just for a moment there, I was gonna share a couple of mine.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, because for me there have been a few different occasions when, when this has

Carrie-Ann:

been something I've had to consider as a leader and, and sometimes and in, in

Carrie-Ann:

more positive lights it's been a very proactive kind of question that I've asked

Carrie-Ann:

myself and, and explored, with others, which is about that time when you move on.

Carrie-Ann:

For me, it's when I feel like there's nothing left perhaps for me to learn.

Carrie-Ann:

Nothing perhaps left that I feel like I can really achieve and have an

Carrie-Ann:

impact on in that role or organization.

Carrie-Ann:

And when I feel like it's time for me to push myself personally, so

Carrie-Ann:

that's definitely been an experience I've had in my career when making

Carrie-Ann:

a choice to move on from a role.

Carrie-Ann:

But I have also had that experience when it was clear with the change

Carrie-Ann:

in organizational leadership that my face didn't perhaps fit anymore.

Carrie-Ann:

And maybe I wasn't really aligned to that new leadership way of thinking or

Carrie-Ann:

way of working, and probably, if I'm really honest, have decided to move

Carrie-Ann:

on, on that particular occasion before I got the sense that I would probably

Carrie-Ann:

be pushed a little bit or, or nudged to move on and make that decision.

Carrie-Ann:

So I've definitely had that experience as well.

Carrie-Ann:

And more recently an experience for me when I felt like it was time for me to

Carrie-Ann:

go, I felt like I'd achieved as much as I could in, in my organization, in

Carrie-Ann:

my leadership role, and I felt ready for a new challenge, but actually then

Carrie-Ann:

got a new leader into the organization, which gave me a bit of a new lease of

Carrie-Ann:

life, a different sense of direction in terms of where I was heading

Carrie-Ann:

as a leader in that organization.

Carrie-Ann:

So that actually made a decision for me that I wanted to stay.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, I've sort of had three experiences that have all been a bit

Carrie-Ann:

different from each other in that space when considering that question.

Carrie-Ann:

So, I'd like to pose that question back to you, Lee, and just see if you'd be

Carrie-Ann:

happy to share what sort of situations you might have found yourself in when you've

Carrie-Ann:

been pondering the conundrum about should you stay or should you go as a leader?

Lee:

mean a lot of what you've said has resonated with my own

Lee:

experiences in my corporate life.

Lee:

I've been in situations where absolutely felt like Groundhog Day

Lee:

and I'd do harm to someone if I had to run another campaign for

Carrie-Ann:

I thought you were gonna say I had to write another annual report,

Lee:

Well, yeah.

Lee:

You know, board paper, PowerPoint, presentation, you know, you name it.

Lee:

But I got to that point where everything was like, oh, I can't do,

Lee:

I don't think I can do this again.

Lee:

I can't do this again.

Lee:

I've been in situations where I've worked in pretty toxic environments and had

Lee:

that sense of, I just need to get out of here, I can't, I can't stay any longer.

Lee:

It wasn't to the extent that I felt I was being pushed out, but I definitely

Lee:

wasn't being felt made, well, made to felt, feel, I can't even say it.

Carrie-Ann:

You weren't being made to feel welcome.

Lee:

I wasn't being made to feel welcome and it just was

Lee:

not a nice place to be at all.

Lee:

So I was having what can I do, where can I go type discussions with myself?

Lee:

But actually they went before I went and the situation changed

Lee:

and I got a new lease of life and it, it felt a lot better.

Lee:

And then I've had opportunities come up when I've not been looking for them

Lee:

and do you want to give this a go?

Lee:

And I've gone, oh yeah, okay, that would be interesting.

Lee:

And then obviously my, my biggest, should I stay or should I go, is when I walked

Lee:

out of my corporate role, which I had got to the point where I, and we'll

Lee:

probably explore some of this maybe later in, in the episode about the different

Lee:

decisions, but for me, there was no, I'm apply for another job and hang around.

Lee:

I was like, I'm going and I'm getting out of here now.

Lee:

And that was, It was a quick decision and a quick execution after, um, a moment

Lee:

of opportunity of clarity, I suppose.

Lee:

So, and that was a decision I made purely on me wanting to get my life

Lee:

back, . Um, so yeah, I've had, I've had a bit of it all really throughout my,

Lee:

you know, it's 20 years of corporate life, but I'm still relatively young

Lee:

to, when you think about all the things you have gone through in your career..

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

And I know you've shared before around your decision to quit

Carrie-Ann:

corporate leadership life as it were.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and you say it now quite casually, like, oh, it was a really quick decision.

Carrie-Ann:

And I do know from our conversations that actually it was executed quite

Carrie-Ann:

quickly, which I think was, was a good thing for you because it's almost like,

Carrie-Ann:

like once you've made the decision, you sort of want it to happen, don't you?

Carrie-Ann:

But I guess.

Carrie-Ann:

You said that with a level of just being quite blase about it, that probably

Carrie-Ann:

doesn't do justice to what you had to think about when you were making that

Carrie-Ann:

decision for your, or maybe it does.

Carrie-Ann:

I don't know.

Carrie-Ann:

So I just, just a thought that triggered for me, whil whilst you

Carrie-Ann:

were talking about how casually you say it now, but I, I wonder if it

Carrie-Ann:

felt like that at the time for you.

Lee:

it was probably two years in the making and I moved to another

Lee:

job in a different organization, um, thinking that that was the

Lee:

thing that was the change I needed.

Lee:

And actually, I don't regret making that change but what it did was shine

Lee:

a light on that I needed to make a bigger change than the one I did.

Lee:

So yeah, it, it once, once I had that realization that it actually, it's not

Lee:

about just going to an a another place.

Lee:

I needed to do something radically different than it was

Lee:

quite quick, but it probably.

Lee:

You're right.

Lee:

It probably took a couple of years of trying different things

Lee:

to explore whether I stay or go.

Lee:

And for me it was do I stay in this organization?

Lee:

Do I stay in my profession and my industry?

Lee:

Do I stay in this sector?

Lee:

So there was lots of questions I asked myself.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, and I think we'll probably touch on some more of

Carrie-Ann:

your experiences we worked through the conversation in this episode.

Carrie-Ann:

I was just gonna try and structure the conversation a little bit around those

Carrie-Ann:

different types of decisions that you make around should you stay or should you go?

Carrie-Ann:

Because as we've touched on, there's a spectrum isn't there, of like you

Carrie-Ann:

making the decision for yourself for different reasons and potentially,

Carrie-Ann:

other people, maybe helping or forcing that decision upon you.

Carrie-Ann:

So I wanted to start in the space where actually, you know, it's, it's more of a

Carrie-Ann:

positive conversation that you're wanting to have with yourself and others, and a

Carrie-Ann:

situation where you are looking to leave because you want that new challenge.

Carrie-Ann:

You are ready for something new, in terms of your leadership career.

Carrie-Ann:

So what sort of advice would you give to leaders listening who, who maybe

Carrie-Ann:

are in that head space right now?

Lee:

I'm trying to think of the right word to use, but I think there's, there

Lee:

can be lots of feelings and emotions that you go through as an individual

Lee:

when you are thinking about, should I go and, and you've touched on some

Lee:

of the emotions that you've had.

Lee:

Similarly with me.

Lee:

It could be that Groundhog Day.

Lee:

It could be you want to do something different, but you don't feel you've

Lee:

got that opportunity where you are

Lee:

. It might be you're just really tired and

Lee:

are facing in, in your organization, or you might get a sense of excitement when

Lee:

you're looking outside other things or opportunities that other people have got

Lee:

elsewhere and you go, I want that for me.

Lee:

Or you know, there could be huge practical reasons why you think I need

Lee:

to go money, location, flexibility and all of that kind of stuff.

Lee:

And I think the first really important thing that I've learned is that sense

Lee:

of being able to process what you are actually thinking and feeling.

Lee:

If you think, is this something that's gonna pass?

Lee:

So getting that clarity, because I think, I've lived that experience.

Lee:

Sometimes you, you jump out the fire into the, no, out of

Lee:

the frying pan into the fire.

Lee:

I got it right?

Carrie-Ann:

I really wanted to do a little cheer then whoop, whoop, she got one.

Carrie-Ann:

Right?

Carrie-Ann:

I should be keeping a tally of your Leeisms when you get them right versus

Carrie-Ann:

when they're, when they're a lovely muddle that actually, uh, usually sound better.

Lee:

Yes.

Lee:

So, you know, sometimes the grass isn't always greener

Lee:

than, than where you are at.

Lee:

And you need to maybe process some of your feelings around what would

Lee:

need to change for me to be happy and stay where I am, for example.

Lee:

And then to, once you've answered that, is that realistic?

Lee:

Is that achievable?

Lee:

And if the answers to those are, are positive, then maybe it

Lee:

isn't a go move that you want.

Lee:

If the answers are are less positive or you don't think the changes can happen

Lee:

where you are at, then it's a different type of discussion you need to have

Lee:

around what would different look like.

Lee:

And I do an exercise with my clients is called the career priorities wheel, and

Lee:

they pick out six to eight things that are really important to them in their career.

Lee:

And, we do a bit of an assessment around, right, well, where would

Lee:

you rate that in your current job versus where would you want it to be?

Lee:

And you start to tease out what's really important to you.

Lee:

What's important to you in terms of your growth, where the gaps are and

Lee:

how that's been fulfilled in your current role and really get you laser

Lee:

focused on what that next step might be.

Lee:

I did that myself when I was looking at what I was gonna do in, in my career,

Lee:

and I know it's given huge clarity to people that I've worked with as well.

Lee:

So it can feel a bit procedural and and processy, but actually there's some

Lee:

fundamental questions you need to ask yourself rather than just going will

Lee:

want a new job because actually you could just be in the same situation

Lee:

just with a different person paying your your wage at the end of the month.

Carrie-Ann:

I think it, it is that point, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

About having that reflection time and understanding what your drivers might

Carrie-Ann:

be for thinking that you, you want to move on and I think for me the way

Carrie-Ann:

you've described it, people might think is procedural, but actually it's really

Carrie-Ann:

important to understand what is it that you want, because again, it's like you

Carrie-Ann:

might think you want a new role or to work in a new organization, but actually

Carrie-Ann:

when you really take the time to dig a bit deeper, some of the things that

Carrie-Ann:

you might be looking for to get that career satisfaction or you know, that

Carrie-Ann:

development that you, that you really are striving for, you might get, be able

Carrie-Ann:

to get in the role that you are in and that might help you make a different

Carrie-Ann:

decision about whether you move on or not.

Carrie-Ann:

I think something for me that's come up in that position where it's more about an

Carrie-Ann:

opportunity for you to grow and progress.

Carrie-Ann:

And maybe it's when you've seen your, I dunno if there is such a things,

Carrie-Ann:

I'm doing it in bunny ears, your dream job somewhere else that you

Carrie-Ann:

think, yes, that's the job for me.

Carrie-Ann:

There have been occasions I know for me in my career, I have felt like I've wanted

Carrie-Ann:

to move on because I personally am ready for it, but I have almost felt a sense

Carrie-Ann:

of guilt tied into like loyalty to my team and organization because I haven't

Carrie-Ann:

been able to pinpoint there being like something wrong with where I am currently.

Carrie-Ann:

So do you know, I dunno if you've ever had that, where it's like, you know, my team's

Carrie-Ann:

really good, they're really supportive.

Carrie-Ann:

We're working really well, we're achieving lots.

Carrie-Ann:

I work in an organization that's nice to work for with people who seem to

Carrie-Ann:

care about the people that work here.

Carrie-Ann:

I get paid well, but actually I just personally feel ready for

Carrie-Ann:

that next step and that next thing.

Carrie-Ann:

And sometimes for me, that's been associated almost with a sense of

Carrie-Ann:

guilt or feeling a bit selfish like.

Carrie-Ann:

I shouldn't want to take that next step, even though I, I'm feeling like

Carrie-Ann:

it's right for me because there isn't anything wrong with the space that I'm in.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think sometimes that takes a bit of unpick to kind of get yourself in

Carrie-Ann:

that right head space to, to be okay with the fact that you want to strive for

Carrie-Ann:

the next thing or look to do something a bit different and that's all right.

Lee:

And I think that's where Exercises like the priorities wheel, are really

Lee:

helpful because you can almost take some of the emotion out of it and, and it

Lee:

starts to shine a light on the things that you value most in your career

Lee:

and in the type of job that you seek.

Lee:

And then you can almost do that, um, objective look at is this

Lee:

job currently giving that to me?

Lee:

Or what else would this job need to give me, for me to feel that this

Lee:

was a 10 outta 10 job in this aspect?

Lee:

So I do think having the ability to do something like that's quite important.

Lee:

I think the other thing that, um, also sometimes gets overlooked is the fact

Lee:

that you need to look at yourself in relation to the state your organization

Lee:

is in at that time, and maybe match your skill set with what it needs.

Lee:

Because I think particularly if you're at a more senior level that organizations

Lee:

do need different types of leaders for different types of scenarios.

Lee:

So if you are a leader who's brilliant at turnaround, But not so great at

Lee:

maybe bringing everyone together and doing the culture change piece.

Lee:

If your organization's done the turnaround and needs someone that can reconcile and

Lee:

bring people together and you know you are not that kind of person, then that maybe

Lee:

might make the decision for you that you need to go somewhere that's gonna give

Lee:

you, that's gonna match your skills in, in the best way, if that makes sense..

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Absolutely does make sense.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think just as you are speaking there, what's coming to mind for me is

Carrie-Ann:

the fact that actually very early on in my career, I don't think I was ever

Carrie-Ann:

encouraged particularly or given the tools to think about some of this for

Carrie-Ann:

myself, and it only actually for me feels quite recent that we are sort of having

Carrie-Ann:

conversations not just with leaders about, about anybody in the workplace,

Carrie-Ann:

really starting to think about what do they want to get out of their work life,

Carrie-Ann:

you know, is that something to do with being more balanced with their home life?

Carrie-Ann:

What do they enjoy?

Carrie-Ann:

What do they love?

Carrie-Ann:

What do they, what are they good at?

Carrie-Ann:

What, what are the things that make them want to poke their eyeballs

Carrie-Ann:

out do you know what I mean?

Carrie-Ann:

Like I don't think we.

Carrie-Ann:

I dunno, early in my career, I don't feel like I had a lot of

Carrie-Ann:

those conversations with anybody.

Carrie-Ann:

But actually what I'm seeing more of now is, a bit more openness

Carrie-Ann:

to having those conversations.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and some of the exercises you've talked about and the, the mindset you've

Carrie-Ann:

talked about getting yourself into to, to consider what next in, in your

Carrie-Ann:

career, just Makes me think of, the Squiggly careers, which is a book and a

Carrie-Ann:

podcast by Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper, where actually they start to give you

Carrie-Ann:

practical exercises and talk a lot about you working out, you know, where is it

Carrie-Ann:

that you want to go on this journey.

Carrie-Ann:

And it's okay if it isn't linear and in a certain trajectory it's okay to

Carrie-Ann:

change and, and try different things.

Carrie-Ann:

And so, um, for me, I just think that kind of maybe more of a coaching

Carrie-Ann:

approach to thinking about your own career and where you want to go next

Carrie-Ann:

can be really valuable for sure.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

The career wheel I talk about, there's a life wheel as well that you can do, which

Lee:

is very similar about understanding where does work, sit in your bigger priorities.

Lee:

And actually, you know, people can get into leadership roles and then

Lee:

realize this isn't for me and for, for the lifestyle I want or for, I don't

Lee:

want to work long hours culture, or I don't want to travel a lot or whatever.

Lee:

I don't want that responsibility of having to be the accountable person or

Lee:

the legal responsibilities or whatever it might be because all of this other

Lee:

stuff outside of work is more important and I'm not willing to compromise on

Lee:

that, that people do step away and that decision to change what they do comes

Lee:

from a sense of, well, you know what?

Lee:

I can drop in my salary because my priority is to be closer to home and work

Lee:

fewer days a week because I want to spend time with my family, or I want to go to

Lee:

the gym, or I want to, Fridays is my day.

Lee:

I want to go and get my nails done and go for a swim and have lunch with

Lee:

the girls, or whatever it might be.

Carrie-Ann:

So it feels like we've been talking about that space where really

Carrie-Ann:

we are owning our decision to make that move and decide that we're moving on.

Carrie-Ann:

Or maybe not.

Carrie-Ann:

Maybe we are deciding we're staying, but we are doing a lot of proactive

Carrie-Ann:

work in the conversation that we've just had around kind of really

Carrie-Ann:

owning that and being in that space.

Carrie-Ann:

But we've touched on it a little bit, I think when you talked about.

Carrie-Ann:

Considering whether you are the right leader for an organization,

Carrie-Ann:

um, if your skill sets still match what that organization needs.

Carrie-Ann:

There will be times potentially in our leadership careers where we are

Carrie-Ann:

sometimes forced into a decision about staying or going, and it's

Carrie-Ann:

usually about going, let's be honest.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, that might be through a restructure, a change in leadership.

Carrie-Ann:

It might be a performance issue.

Carrie-Ann:

It could, it could be a whole number of things that feel like they come

Carrie-Ann:

perhaps in a more negative kind of space with more negative connotations.

Carrie-Ann:

So what sort of advice would you give to leaders who are maybe finding themselves

Carrie-Ann:

in that situation where there's definitely a you will be going element to where

Carrie-Ann:

they're at in their career right now.

Lee:

We know that some organizations can be cutthroat and we probably

Lee:

all know someone that's been managed out of an organization.

Lee:

I definitely, I don't think I've worked for a single organization

Lee:

where I'm not aware of at least one person that's had the unfortunate,

Lee:

I dunno what the word is.

Lee:

I'm looking for circumstance.

Carrie-Ann:

situation.

Lee:

situation where they've been let go.

Lee:

And I suppose what you notice is those, how different people handle things

Lee:

differently and what's a good way and perhaps a not great way to handle it.

Lee:

Um, Because to be frank, it's really shit, isn't it?

Lee:

If, if you are in that situation and usually there's stuff that leads up to

Lee:

that point of those discussions, so you're probably already feeling under the cosh.

Lee:

You are probably already questioning your abilities or confidence in yourself

Lee:

to be able to do certain things.

Lee:

And that just gets perpetuated as, as people start to have conversations

Lee:

about your future in an organization.

Lee:

And you need to deal with and process your emotions as you go through that.

Lee:

But I think in some ways, this is the point where your strategic brain really

Lee:

does need to kick in and you need to start thinking about the long game.

Lee:

And I know that's easier said than done, but even if you look at.

Lee:

I don't know, football managers, there's a real difference isn't there, between

Lee:

when the narrative of a football manager who sacked versus a mutual decision

Lee:

versus they've decided to step down.

Lee:

And so as early as you can take control of your narrative and the process

Lee:

you go through, the better, really.

Lee:

So whether it's things like how you agree about when it's gonna be announced,

Lee:

Having oversight of the coms, all of that.

Lee:

Don't leave that power to someone else.

Lee:

You, you need to own it because, obviously there's things like your legacy and your

Lee:

reputation that are at risk here, and, and so you do want to make sure that you

Lee:

are protecting that as much as possible.

Lee:

I do think there, there are exceptions to that type of situation though.

Lee:

So if you think you've been treated unfairly, Because you've

Lee:

been bullied or discriminated, then I do think that's different.

Lee:

And I think then you need to be checking in with your support network

Lee:

to get some perspective from them.

Lee:

Um, you might need maybe more of an independent conversation with someone

Lee:

more senior than your manager or a board member if you are in the board.

Lee:

It might be a designated person for whistle blowing

Lee:

if it is really that extreme.

Lee:

Don't forget, you are entitled to representation and and support.

Lee:

So I think particularly in those types of scenarios, your integrity as a

Lee:

leader and the bigger picture might mean that you need to put yourself in

Lee:

a difficult situation and speak out or make a stand and all of that stuff.

Lee:

And that can be hard.

Lee:

So I do think it's part circumstance.

Lee:

I think in every circumstance though as a leader, you need to

Lee:

try and have as much control of the narrative, if not the process.

Carrie-Ann:

and I think the point you made about the emotional aspects of

Carrie-Ann:

that is really important, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

Because it can feel hard to take some of that control if you are

Carrie-Ann:

in a space where you are feeling very emotional about, about the

Carrie-Ann:

circumstance you find yourself in.

Carrie-Ann:

And for me, the point you made about support, I think

Carrie-Ann:

is, is a really crucial one.

Carrie-Ann:

I think, whatever spectrum of that, um, Kind of process or circumstance

Carrie-Ann:

that, that you might find yourself in.

Carrie-Ann:

I think having that support network around you to help you process some of

Carrie-Ann:

that emotion and maybe look at it from a slightly, one step removed circumstance

Carrie-Ann:

is really helpful in that situation.

Carrie-Ann:

And that might be through a support network of peers, you know, professional

Carrie-Ann:

network that you're part of.

Carrie-Ann:

Might be friends, it might be, um, it might be through coach and or mentor,

Carrie-Ann:

but I think having a safe space where you can have some of that conversation and

Carrie-Ann:

even talk about the fact that you want to take ownership of that narrative and,

Carrie-Ann:

and work through what that might look and feel like for you and work through some

Carrie-Ann:

of the potential responses that you might anticipate getting from your organization

Carrie-Ann:

if you try to, to take that control, I think can be really helpful for sure.

Carrie-Ann:

There was also a little bit that I wanted to touch on.

Carrie-Ann:

It's a slight aside, a slight, a slight digress, I would say, but often in

Carrie-Ann:

circumstances where there is a change in leadership, in an organization, a

Carrie-Ann:

restructure, something's happening.

Carrie-Ann:

And we've talked about being emotionally invested in things as well as a

Carrie-Ann:

leader, I guess there's that bit for me sometimes how, and you touched on it

Carrie-Ann:

around what does the organization need earlier, but there's that bit about

Carrie-Ann:

as a leader sometimes the organization maybe does need something different.

Carrie-Ann:

Maybe there's a bigger purpose or a bigger cause that means some leaders

Carrie-Ann:

might need to step up and do something that truly is for the greater good, but

Carrie-Ann:

that, that can be really entrenched in what your own personal circumstances.

Carrie-Ann:

And I guess, you know, I, I just wonder how many leaders will truly, maybe

Carrie-Ann:

make some decisions about leaving an organization, and you talked about

Carrie-Ann:

football managers stepping down.

Carrie-Ann:

It's not just in sport, is it?

Carrie-Ann:

But how many leaders I wonder, would, would truly recognize that actually now's

Carrie-Ann:

the time for me to go, because I'm doing a disservice to my organization, my team,

Carrie-Ann:

or whatever, and how many people might be hanging on because they do have those

Carrie-Ann:

personal circumstances, like paying a mortgage, for example, to consider?.

Carrie-Ann:

One of the things I wanted to just briefly explore before I move us on into

Carrie-Ann:

a bit of a different space, around the question of should you stay or should

Carrie-Ann:

you go is, Sometimes you make a decision that it's your time to move on and

Carrie-Ann:

you want to leave, and you are in that position and kind of preparing yourself

Carrie-Ann:

for it and then people, uh, sweep in and go, no, we don't want you to go.

Carrie-Ann:

Please don't go.

Carrie-Ann:

We want you to stay.

Carrie-Ann:

What can we do to make you stay?

Carrie-Ann:

And, and you can quite easily, I think, sometimes get caught up in

Carrie-Ann:

the kind of wow factor of like, people don't want me to leave.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm having such an impact here.

Carrie-Ann:

I just wondered what you might consider if you were in that position

Carrie-Ann:

of, of potentially almost being ready, to make that step and leave

Carrie-Ann:

and then people are trying to convince you that, that you should stay.

Carrie-Ann:

And I guess some of it'll be the same as the advice you've already given but

Carrie-Ann:

I can see that some of us, maybe some of us extroverts in particular might

Carrie-Ann:

be easily flattered into thinking it would be a good idea to stay, I just

Carrie-Ann:

wanted to get your views on that lee.

Lee:

So.

Lee:

Uh, I think I've referenced this TV show before and you

Lee:

would think I absolutely love

Carrie-Ann:

Colombo.

Lee:

No bull,

Lee:

I watch it, but it isn't, I can't say it's like a massive favorite of mine.

Lee:

I do moan about it most weeks.

Lee:

I'm not just randomly , but it's an interesting point because

Lee:

one of the lead characters, is really unhappy in the workplace.

Lee:

It's been schmoozed by another company.

Carrie-Ann:

Is this gonna be another spoiler alert that we

Carrie-Ann:

have to let listeners know about

Lee:

Oh yeah, potentially, potentially maybe, maybe not.

Lee:

I've try, I'll try not to give too much away.

Lee:

So she's been schmoozed by another company.

Lee:

The boss gets wind, doesn't get wind, actually just sees her out at lunch

Lee:

with this other person, schmoozing her, offers her what he thinks

Lee:

she wants, so she decides to stay.

Lee:

Then the schmoozer person comes in with a better offer.

Carrie-Ann:

person, I love it.

Lee:

comes in with a better offer, and at that point she decided she was

Lee:

gonna go even though boss has decided he's going to do everything he can

Lee:

to keep her, but it comes down to the fundamental thing around she didn't

Lee:

actually want all the bells and whistles.

Lee:

She wanted the value to be felt and for her boss to understand the value that she

Lee:

actually was adding to the organization.

Lee:

So it wasn't about getting a partnership or any of this kind of stuff.

Lee:

So she actually did leave regardless of them giving her everything

Lee:

that she, they thought she wanted.

Lee:

So I say that to say, I think it goes back to there's obviously an

Lee:

underlying reason that you are thinking about wanting to go or decided to go.

Lee:

What's actually going to change if you stay?

Lee:

And is that the thing that you've, back to that first premise of

Lee:

is it realistic and achieveable?

Lee:

Are they gonna make that change or are they just gonna say that they are to

Lee:

keep you, but you're gonna be in the same place in 3, 4, 5 months time?

Lee:

Again, this is where the career priorities wheel I think it's

Lee:

really helpful tool for you to start to weigh up the pros and cons.

Lee:

It's a bit like, uh, Ross in Friends when he's doing his pros and cons for Julie.

Lee:

And, um,

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, we're gonna go there.

Carrie-Ann:

We're go, go.

Carrie-Ann:

Now be asking the question, were they on a break or not?

Carrie-Ann:

And, and I'm properly digressing now.

Carrie-Ann:

I saw a brilliant clip on social media about somebody bought a doormat.

Carrie-Ann:

Said, were Ross and Rachel on a

Lee:

yes, I've seen that.

Carrie-Ann:

and, and people were leaving their parcels with whether

Carrie-Ann:

they thought they were or they weren't.

Carrie-Ann:

But anyway, we're, we're not doing a podcast series on reviewing TV

Carrie-Ann:

shows, by the way, for anyone who might have only just started listening

Carrie-Ann:

at this point in the episode,

Lee:

I think it might be my side hustle though.

Carrie-Ann:

yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Future spinoff series.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm, I'm all for it.

Carrie-Ann:

But anyway, sorry, I've totally distracted you now.

Lee:

But I'm, the, the point I make slightly in jest, but is an important

Lee:

one, is the pros and cons of you've mapped out your priorities and that's led you

Lee:

to a decision around you want to leave.

Lee:

If, if someone's trying to woo you back or, or get you to stay, is it ticking

Lee:

those boxes that have said you're gonna go and is it just, are they BSing

Lee:

you or is it really going to deliver

Carrie-Ann:

Will there be an actual change?

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

So I'm gonna move us on now because I'm conscious that this is an

Carrie-Ann:

episode that feels like we could keep talking about for a really long time.

Carrie-Ann:

We focused a lot in this episode so far on you as an individual, personal

Carrie-Ann:

choices for you, things that impact you personally as a leader and impact your

Carrie-Ann:

career, but obviously as a leader you have responsibility for leading a team or an

Carrie-Ann:

organization and when you are preparing to leave or you've made a decision to leave

Carrie-Ann:

or you're being moved on, whatever the circumstances that that is leading to you

Carrie-Ann:

leaving that organization or that team.

Carrie-Ann:

I guess I'm just interested in exploring a little bit around what support

Carrie-Ann:

and how do you support the team that you are leading to kind of deal with

Carrie-Ann:

the fact that you are moving on?.

Lee:

I think there are two ways people handle it.

Lee:

So you've got the responsible way, which is what we are

Lee:

gonna talk about in in detail.

Lee:

You do have individuals who handle it irresponsibly and and clock out before

Lee:

they leave and don't think about it.

Lee:

Now I think I have issues with that because I think you need to exit

Lee:

well from any organization because it's your legacy, your reputation,

Lee:

it affects future employment opportunities, all of that kind of stuff.

Lee:

So that's why earlier on I was talking about your narrative and I think part

Lee:

of the narrative is about helping your team to understand your decisions

Lee:

to go and also big up your team and, and the achievements that they've

Lee:

had and the proud moments that you have had as a leader of that team.

Lee:

I suppose where you see the team and the organization going in the future,

Lee:

because that's all part of your legacy narrative and part of the spiel you

Lee:

are gonna take with you into your next role, whatever that might be.

Lee:

I think there's practical things about making the handover easy and that

Lee:

transition for the new leader that's gonna come into your post so that your team

Lee:

don't feel as disrupted as as possible.

Lee:

So obviously have a clear handover.

Lee:

Be really conscious about not being negative about the organization.

Lee:

That whole clocking off thing.

Lee:

Don't be demob happy.

Lee:

Um, Think about how you can support the incumbent person who

Lee:

might be coming into your role.

Lee:

So if it's someone maybe who's already working in the organization, how

Lee:

could you perhaps do a, a gradual handover of responsibilities so that

Lee:

they are getting to know the team and you are starting to exit gracefully.

Lee:

Obviously think about how you want to be treated going into your new

Lee:

role, if you have one lined up.

Lee:

And use that to consider the type of experience you want

Lee:

to leave for your successor.

Lee:

I think's a really important one.

Lee:

, Make sure you are saying thank you to people that supported you along

Lee:

the way, because you never know when you are gonna encounter them again.

Lee:

They'll crop up, I'm sure, particularly if you stay in the same sector.

Lee:

And I think my final thing is you need to find a way to manage your feelings

Lee:

and emotions through this whole period of time because you are leaving

Lee:

and the organization will move on.

Lee:

That probably will start before you actually leave the building.

Lee:

And it can be hard not to take that personally.

Lee:

So part of your managing your exit is to, I suppose, understand that that's

Lee:

gonna happen and get okay with that?

Carrie-Ann:

And, and I think link to that point for me and building on that would

Carrie-Ann:

be the point that it, it's alright to tell your team that that's okay as well

Carrie-Ann:

because I think there will be people in the team that you are leaving that will

Carrie-Ann:

have a, you'd hope, would have a sense of loyalty to you and the way that you've

Carrie-Ann:

work together, and I, and I think you, you do have a responsibility to let your team

Carrie-Ann:

know that actually change might come, but it's really important for them to be able

Carrie-Ann:

to continue to demonstrate in your absence all the great things that they deliver

Carrie-Ann:

and that they do, and to help give them a voice with a new leader that's coming in.

Carrie-Ann:

That means they feel able to articulate that really well, but also give them

Carrie-Ann:

that opportunity to, I guess, to think about the fact that there might be some

Carrie-Ann:

change to come for them, and that's okay.

Carrie-Ann:

And that, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Carrie-Ann:

Actually, that's potentially an opportunity for them because I think

Carrie-Ann:

sometimes the team's gonna worry, we've got the team exactly how we like it,

Carrie-Ann:

we like the way we operate, we feel really comfortable with each other.

Carrie-Ann:

We feel like we are in a safe space, and that's all gonna change.

Carrie-Ann:

And I, I think you do have a responsibility to help some of

Carrie-Ann:

your teamwork through that well..

Carrie-Ann:

It feels like it's about time to move us on to that point in the episode where

Carrie-Ann:

we draw things to a close with our top takeaways and how to, so for me, I just

Carrie-Ann:

wanted your thoughts, Lee, on how you create the space and conditions to really

Carrie-Ann:

think about as a leader, whether you should stay or whether you should go?

Lee:

So I think for me, Your job is part of your life.

Lee:

So I think you need to consider it as part of the bigger picture.

Lee:

So the career priorities wheel I think is a really useful tool to

Lee:

give you that space in terms of the asking different questions that

Lee:

might lead you to, to an answer.

Lee:

And it'll shine the light on compromises you might need to make and the

Lee:

conflicts that might arise as well.

Lee:

I think it can be easy in the moment, particularly if you have a really

Lee:

shitty day to think oh that's it.

Lee:

I need to go.

Lee:

It could be easier said than done, but even just going, taking yourself

Lee:

off to a coffee shop for a couple of hours with a notebook and just

Lee:

getting down in your head some of those things you prioritize is, it is just

Lee:

a good starting point to ask those questions around what needs to change.

Lee:

Then ask the question at the end of day, what needs to change and is it

Lee:

realistic for it to happen here?

Carrie-Ann:

Absolutely, and I think the only thing I would add is as, as

Carrie-Ann:

a top tip would be about your support network and making sure you've got

Carrie-Ann:

that around you to be able to have a space to, and a sounding board to have

Carrie-Ann:

some of those conversations out loud.

Carrie-Ann:

I think once you've started to get some clarity or at least hope

Carrie-Ann:

to get that clarity in your head, it can be helpful just to, To

Carrie-Ann:

test that out with other people.

Carrie-Ann:

So think about that and whether or not your coach or mentor, if you've got one,

Carrie-Ann:

is a possible space and opportunity for you to start, thinking through some