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Departing bosses: The long goodbye and the big send off

Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger
There is a natural cycle to organisations. A growth and decay or transition. The leader who came with fresh ideas, high energy, an ability to identify young talent and knack for spotting future tends ahead of every one else, is looking like the organisation a little stale. Time for a refresh? So how do you end things, how do you mark the end of an era and clear the way for a new era?
I worked for a national organisation in which the departing chief executive spent his final 3 months on an extended farewell road show visiting all the organisations regional offices. It became a bit of a joke. Some prefer to slip away quietly perhaps even apologetically since they haven’t been there very long and when they arrived they said this was the job they had always wanted in the organisation they had always wanted to work for. Others disappear over night in a brutal departure similar to the way football managers are treated.
The Egyptians knew how to end an era with a big send off. However no so good if you were part of the inner circle since you were incased in the tomb with them. Mind-you a pyramid is a very impressive legacy. Of course it does require years of planning and a big budget, not a cold buffet with the senior management team and a speech by the chair telling embarrassing stories. Yes we can laugh about it now!
However the ultimate send off has to be a Viking funeral. The most spectacular send off for a leader. Usually reserved for kings or chiefs . The deceased is placed in a wooden sailing ship which acts as a funeral pyre  and with great ceremony the ship is set on fire.The blasting vessel is pushed out to sea in a speculative farewell voyage to Valhalla, home of the Gods.
I’m not suggesting your colleagues set you on fire, just that you deserve a really big send off after being such a successful leader. Symbolically sending you off to a better place and of course in a burning boat thus ensuring you don’t return!

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