Exit Stage Left

Exit stage left (or right) is a theatrical term used to tell actors on stage, during a production, where to leave when their part of the scene is over.  

How many of us know people who have been in positions for, it seems, forever?  I mean, they have truly become rooted and grounded in that place for decades.  Some people believe that being leadership for many years, at a specific location, is a good thing.  This leadership provides consistency, stability and allows for progress to manifest in the form of strategy implementation from the leader's vision.  And these things are all true.  Yet, there is a danger with individuals remaining in a position for an extended period of time.

Complacency and stagnation are twin enemies to long term leadership.  If the individual within the leadership position expresses no interest in growing and developing themselves personally or the organization, that becomes a problem.  A leader can become content with the progress made. From the beginning of their tenure until the current moment, they have had great momentum and gain.  This leader may feel as if "they have arrived" or that "all goals have been met".  So, they kick back and enjoy the success.

Consequently, there is always room for growth.  Once goals set have been met, it it time to reevaluate priorities, set new goals and work towards them.  The desire to not move forward due to contentment in a current state creates an organization that becomes stagnate.  The growth appreciated and relished no longer is evident.  The drive to improve, engage and move towards a mark has faded.  

It is the leader that drives the organization forward.  If a leader feels that there is no room for growth or their actions demonstrate no sense of urgency towards forward progress...it might be time for them to exit.  Their leadership was relevant and needed for the specific time they were placed in that position.  But the action to grow and move forward may require another leader and a new skill set.  Leaders in organizations must realize how their leadership is hindering or helping an organization.

Don't become the anchor that stops growth...exit stage left.