Hello all,

I'm in a special situation where I'm moving on and unfortunately my org does not seem to have their ducks in a row for my exit, and it falls to me to try to ease things as much as possible. This is a long and involved story so just to keep things BLUFF, does anyone have any guidance on what steps I should take / package I should prepare under the following circumstances:

- my successor has not been identified, the structure of the org is small and very flat, all non-management staff (8) report to me. All management (4 + me) reports to my boss
- This was a known event coming up: 3 months discussed with the boss, this is a package that became official last week (Jan 8th)
- My boss has asked me not to make an announcement yet; he's asked for until Jan 22 to line things up
- no-one knows officially, not my peers or my directs
- My last day is Feb 27

My concern is based on giving my directs as much time as possible to adjust and step up to the situation. I have submitted my proposed successor, there's acknowledgment that she is the person most prepared from a company/finance understanding but not quite ready to step into the leadership component. Also acknowledged is that none of the other managers are positioned to take a sideways step (influence/staff management chops). Most likely outcome is that all would report to my boss and have a completely flat org - don't want to sound overinflated but this is not an ideal situation.

Lacking any good direction, and frankly with my perception that another week is a long way off only to find out there's no resolution, I've started to delegate some of daily functions to my key directs, and bringing them in the room on my higher functions of my own accord. I'm using career coaching to explain it to my peers as this is not uncommon for me to do, but not to this level and my "chosen" is sharp and I believe she knows without our having discussed it.

Looking forward to your learned input,

terrih's picture

I know there's an MT podcast that addresses this, but for the life of me I can't remember what it's called, even though I've scanned through the list of podcasts. Maybe someone else will be able to remember.

jhack's picture

Three part series, excellent advice for your situation...

John Hack

HMac's picture

As the guys explain in the how-to-resign podcasts, prepare updated performance evaluations for each of your direct reports. That's a tremendously professional thing to do.

But that's pretty much it.

I wouldn't get too involved in trying to delegate, in setting up things for after you've left. Two reasons:

* trying to "control the future" - or to influence operations after you're gone - is an inherently frustrating waste of time. You can't do it, so don't try it.

* you can't make up for management's lack of attention to the impact of your departure. Bluntly, if they don't care so much, and they think they'll muddle through without you, let 'em.

Leave clear notes, leave all your materials organized, make sure to leave behind any necessary passwords. If you're so inclined, leave your contact information for the "next guy."

Do whatever you can to help your people. Beyond that, you're done. Get focused on your next great adventure.


bug_girl's picture

One thing that I have now run into twice:

I try to organize and leave behind materials and resources when I leave for a new position. However, because of security policies, everything digital was wiped/destroyed by the tech folks, and all paper documents that were not essential were shredded.

So, before you knock yourself out, find out what the policies are.

It's a sad comment on the state of trust between employees and employers. And, oddly, since I'm on fairly friendly terms with my past employers, what usually happens is that I get a phone call, and I loan whatever I backed up on CD for my personal use to my replacement :)

I'm not sure what would happen if the higher-ups knew that.....

terrih's picture

I would have been up a creek if my company had erased/shredded everything when the previous manager left!!

bug_girl's picture

I know--it seems terribly short-sighted.
From a strictly IT security standpoint, I understand it. I could leave all sorts of ticking time bombs in those files.

In the most recent case, though, it was a job that my boss recommended to me, and then recommended me for!

He was rather peeved when it was discovered that everything was erased, per organizational policy.

jhack's picture

...policies like keeping your files on a shared drive; using portals, wikis, Notes, or whatever for collaboration; requiring source code or document control systems; you know what I mean...

In my company, if my hard drive were erased, IT would still have everything stored on a secure server.

AND, if IT can erase the disk and you lose everything, then what happens if your disk just fails? Do you lose everything?

It may be a "security" measure, but it's not a best practice.

And if this is the policy, shouldn't managers know this, and take measures before someone leaves or is let go?


bug_girl's picture

In the last case, it was a new IT policy--and it wasn't communicated until it was used.
Which isn't best practice either, I'm willing to bet!

Most of the places I've worked have an IT group that is completely separate from everyone else, and with an independent reporting structure. I've seen a lot of decisions made and then acted upon without any consulting with the folks that actually use the web, intranet, or desktops.
It doesn't seem to work very well.

Where I am now we are more integrated, but we still have to deal with occasional "make it so" edicts from the head IT honchos that are off-site.