Do you quit the right way?

Quitting happens. Some of us handle it well.  Some of us don't.  Some of us don't believe quitting well exists.  But I'm here to tell you there is a process to quitting well.  Because like it or not, paid position or volunteer, eventually we will quit some type of leadership role (and yes, retiring is a kind word for quitting).

Quitting is not always a negative word.  There are times "moving on" is the right thing to do, especially if you're empowering others who need the chance to lead.  So how do we quit the right way when we realize a season is over?

Here are four "dont's" to keep in mind when quitting time is coming up.

1.  Don't drop bombs - Some people enjoy the power of quitting.  It reminds me of warfare, one side surprisingly drops bombs on the other to catch it off guard and then fly a way, it's a method of control in a power struggle.  If damaging relationships is the way you want to go about quitting than this is your method.  But what you should do is bring other leaders into the loop when you begin to process the end of a season.  Conversations in advance allows everyone to prepare for change, which in the long term will help the team.

2.  Don't check out early - If you've given notice than finish well.  Some people will choose what they want to do and what they don't want to do as they head for the door.  But finishing well means doing the exact same things you did the first month.  And this is a good way to evaluate if you are finishing well.  Ask yourself, "Have I stopped doing anything I did the first month when I took the job or started volunteering?"  If the answer is "yes", it's a pretty good indicator you're checking out early and cheating a commitment.

3.  Don't leave sloppy - I wish I could remember who said it but the saying goes, "How you leave says more about your leadership than anything else you do."  If you're moving on you are about to inherit something someone else left.  Prepare to leave like you were handing things off to yourself.  You should think about leaving with a comprehensive list of who, what, and when.  Once you have met your commitment and you have organized things well, leave.

4.  Don't hang out - If you want in, then stay in.  If you want out, then get out.  It's never fair to to say we are leaving but hang out.  This makes communication cloudy because team members will often communicate to the same people as before.  If people reported to you they are likely to return to you when they should be working through transition-pains with the new person.  Please don't make things hazy for others.

Quitting requires a great deal of leadership because we want to do it well.  The process of leaving is how everyone will remember you regardless of the great things you may have done in you tenure.  Leave well.  And serve those who will remain on the team so organizational or team health is at it's best.  Do that and you will be missed.  Don't do that and everyone will want you out the door sooner.

Is there anything else you would add to this list?  Maybe you've been on a team and watched someone quit poorly, what did you learn from that experience?  Please leave your comments below!

What you won't hear from a presidential candidate in the next week

I have to be honest: I'm struggling with politics right now. I feel a little like I'm the new sixth grader in middle school watching two eighth graders bash on each other and try to get the most people on their side.  I say take it to the parking lot at lunch and settle it so that we don't have to watch your "In pain/Denial face" as the other candidate slanders you.  Did I mention it feels like their eighth grade girls?

PicMonkey Collage


What you won't hear from a presidential candidate in the next week is, "I'm going to give people permission to..."

Leadership is a service industry.  That's what makes it so challenging.  That's what makes us look away during political ads that bash on someone else.  Can you bash your way to being the Chief Servant?  If our heart is pointed towards service than our follow up questions has to be, "What have you been waiting for permission to do?"  When people begin to serve there becomes a filter in the process, much like the cream rises to the top.  Some will stay the course and yet others will dream of new ways to serve.

Are you aware of those who are dreaming of bigger ways to serve and giving them permission to do so?

Could be a great way to start your Monday.

How important in your story was the moment someone gave you permission to serve in a greater way?  Please leave your comment below?


Leadership lesson in a chicken restaurants bathroom

Who you serve says more about your organization than what you say about your organization. IMG_4868

I was at this delicious chicken sandwich restaurant that isn't opened on Sundays and I noticed this little step stool in the men's bathroom.

What a dramatic statement.

I bet lots of people pass right by it without thinking about it. I imagine little boys step on it to wash their hands and don't go tell someone thank you for having it. BUT! It's a big statement about who's welcome at this restaurant. A step stool in the restroom says, "Little kids are welcome here. We actually want them here. We even want to serve little kids."

So what about your leadership and your organization? Because who you serve says it all.

Is the organization blessed?

I feel confident that God approves of order but I'm beginning to wonder if we give too much credit to the organization. Every organization fights to remain a living active body and not simply an idea that used to work. I can understand organizational pressure but I feel the tension when the organization asks more of me than I ask of it. I think everyone feels that from all types of different organizations. People feel that tension at their place of employment. People feel that tension from their kid's sports team. People feel that tension from the charity they volunteer for. The tension is real and it exists and the misplacement can happen to any organization. How do we navigate this as leaders? The moment we begin to make decisions that serve the organization over serving the people of the organization we lose blessing. The blessing we lose is that of the people who's hands are dirty with the most work. They begin to become paycheck to paycheck (or project to project, or commitment to commitment) instead of calling to passion. That's the reason that people are there in the first place for any organization, they are called to it.

Serve the people, serve the organization. Serve the organization, kill the calling and passion of its' people.

How do you function differently when you are operating out of calling and passion instead of serving to protect an organization?