Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Reflecting on Your Readiness to Leave

Written by Caroline McAndrews

Since releasing The Leadership in Leaving, BMP has received many different responses, but one that we hear again and again is, “How do I know when it is the right time to leave?” 

As the authors of the report point out, “Ending a long-term position can be one of the hardest leadership challenges an executive faces.  Doing so requires reflection at the intersection of the personal and organizational, assessing what is best for the organization and right for a leader’s own future.”  But how do leaders know if they’re ready to go or if their organization is ready to survive the transition?

The latest tool in the Building Movement Project’s online leadership toolkit is designed to help leaders start to think about where they are in the process. This quick assessment is meant to help them take stock of their own and the organization’s readiness for the transition.   The Leadership in Leaving: Reflecting on Your Organizational and Personal Readiness features a short series of questions about the feelings and experiences of executives and their organizations, followed by a tool that helps analyze the answers. 

This tool is a place to begin and is best used as part of a discussion – either with friends and colleagues or with the board – to talk about what it will mean to be prepared for the next phase of life for the departing leader and for the organization.  It can also be taken repeatedly over time to allow users to compare results and track progress. 

No tool will tell you the right time to leave. But long-term leaders, especially founders, can often feel isolated as they start to explore what is next. For many, so much of their life has been intertwined with their commitment to the organization, making it even more difficult to know how to depart.  This assessment is meant to help leaders and the organization get a sense of were they’re at. Let us know how it works for you!


To download the tool, click here.

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