I'm in a senior leadership role at a tech startup. We're players in our space and killing the market but behind the scenes it's a horribly run company. The company has struggled with two things: 1, integrating M&A assets and 2, a more dysfunctional than normal C-suite.

In this economy, it's been a challenge to hit numbers. We're cashflow positive fortunately but it's still hard to close deals right now. Considering the dysfunction and the economy, I've witnessed some staff outright lying and misrepresenting data for customer/prospect requests in which to close deals.

I've walked fine lines and dove into grey areas in the past -- this is not that. You're just going to have to trust me when I say there are problems with the company just outright lying to customers.

Coupled with Sales throwing me under the bus multiple times, I escalated the lying and contract liability issues to the C-suite on account of the risk that poses to the business.

As you can imagine, it hasn't gone well for me. The mental gymnastics these C levels have gone through to justify what Sales has done and turn this personally around on me is something else.

As such, I'm looking elsewhere. Already had some offers (turned 2 down) and currently have a strong lead on another role.

When I resign, not that I'm an "empire builder", it will have short term impact on the business. The VP I report to has been good to me and my staff is wonderful. I'd like to minimize any impact.

Should I give my VP a heads up that I'm looking elsewhere so he can start planning my succession and avoid being blindsided by my resignation or do I just say fuck it and submit a resignation in the generally accepted professional manner when the time comes?


jrb3's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

... no.  Your VP would be obligated to pass along any early warning.  He's probably already anticipating retention trouble with you, knowing you raised both ethical and legal issues to proper levels and had been rebuffed.

If you're a licensee, drop an email to customerservice@ asking how to get advice from Mark (one of the Manager Tools founders).

Definitely say nothing, up down or sideways, until you have accepted an offer (and have a firm start date!) somewhere else.  See podcast-set accessible in Map of the Universe | Changing Jobs | Resigning | "How to Resign".  Maybe also check the show-notes for its peer podcast "What Happens When I Quit".  Your boss gets the honor of the first firm sign by you handing him the resignation letter, of course -- he needs to be the first to know, especially since you don't want to make it harder on him than necessary.

shellandflame's picture

I agree with jrb3 on this.  It's not just the VP has an obligation to report your potential exit, but you may find yourself escorted out before the end of the day.  You'd then no longer have the luxury of turning down offers.

While I agree with your feelings to take care of a boss & team that have been good to you, the company won't hesitate to fire you if they think something's up.  You can assuage your concerns by spending your time making sure everything is lined up for a smooth departure and there is documentation of all the work you're doing so whomever ends up in your chair can hit the ground running.

AmandaChase's picture
Admin Role Badge

Great responses! Here is another podcast that would be worth a listen: