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Chris LoCurto

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August 24, 2012

What To Do When A Team Member Leaves

August 24, 2012 | By | 90 Comments">90 Comments

Here’s a great guest post by Matt McWilliams. Matt is from the south but reluctantly lives in Fort Wayne, IN with his wife, Tara, and daughter Aracelli. He blogs about personal growth, business, and leadership at MattMcWilliams.com.  Follow Matt on Twitter. You can guest post as well. Read how to here.

For many years, my wife was a member of Dave Ramsey’s team. So when his company held a baby shower for her and purchased hundreds of dollars in assorted baby goods that we put to great use over the next year, it was nothing unusual, right? A lot of businesses do this kind of thing for team members. What a great way to inspire and help her through the first few months of motherhood.

What makes this story unique was that her last day was only days away. Soon, we would be on our way to Indiana, far, far away from the rolling hills of Nashville. The company had nothing to gain by their act of kindness. Or did they?

First, I believe they did it for the right reasons. Her leader at the time, Jack Galloway, is a true class act—an EntreLeader among EntreLeaders. My wife worked at Dave’s company for almost five years, and it was their way of honoring and congratulating her.

And what about the remaining team members? How much more loyalty did Jack build in those who were still there? They saw their company living out their values and treating someone the right way because it was the right thing to do. An already motivated workforce surely felt even more fired up that day.

As far as me and my wife? We will gladly refer people to work there. I already believed in the company and the cause, but that day took my passion to an entirely new level.

So often, companies treat outgoing team members as if they are no longer useful. Don’t be like that! Instead, be like Dave and his leadership team. When someone is leaving, treat them with love; be thankful for their time; and, in the process, you just might inspire those remaining even more.

Question: Have you ever been treated very well or very poorly when leaving a company?

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  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    Thankfully, I don’t have a lot of personal experience in leaving companies. I’ve been with my company for over 16 years, and I hope it continues. I do however think that we could do a better job in sending people off to their next adventure. We used to take people out for lunch, but that tradition has faded as we have grown and the bigger corporation has locked down on spending. I suppose we could still do things like this – at the employees expense.

    My dad is a pastor and he has experienced some wonderful times of departure when he has left an assignment for the next job. Most of the churches that he has been at know how to do it right!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Matt! I believe that it all depends on the culture of organization. We may be getting Bouquets or Brickbats! But, it all depends on the culture of the organization which we are leaving.

    In my personal experience, one of my best friends was shown the door the same day he told about his decision of quitting the company. He was not asked to serve the notice period. Out of anger, they drove out the same day. But, your example was a real example of broad-mindedness.

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    Great post, Matt! And what a blessing for your wife to know what value she brought to the Dave Ramsey team.

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    A couple of years ago, one of our valued team members gave her resignation – she wanted to try a new venture. We were saddened by her leaving – in fact it was going to hurt us in a big way. But I was adamant with her that I would not want to hold her back if she thought the other position was what she was looking for. We gave her a send-off and told her that if she changed her mind, we would love to have her back. One year later – SHE’S BACK! I think if we would have had a bad attitude she would not have considered coming back for one minute.

  • TroyD

    Great Post.
    The culture at my current company is basically, if you are putting in your 2 week notice you better bring a box, it might be your last day. Obviously I am working at changing this culture. Before coming here I worked for a different company for 15 years. My last 2 weeks was some of the hardest work ever, I wanted to make sure my team was as successful as possible going forward. Naturally they didn’t give me any new work, so I spent 2 weeks (with overtime) accomplishing all the goals I had for my team. Imagine if they would have asked me to leave…

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Wow Troy. That is exactly how Tara’s last two weeks were. Her second to last day lasted until after 10:00pm and that is rare in Lampo culture. That was a lonely night in fact. haha.

      That is the way the end should be. She did it to make sure that the others taking over for her would hit the ground running.

  • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ Bob Winchester

    Tears!

    Not sure if it’s from how awesome that story is or because I’m so sad about how opposite my journey has been. None the less, Thanks for sharing that Matt!!!

  • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

    I don’t think I have a good/bad example of a time I left a company for someone else. That alone is my example…I’ve never experienced a good/bad send off. Hmm.

    But the lesson I just learned: I will not pay that ‘no experience’ send off to any of my team members. Starting….NOW.

    Thanks for the burnt rice today @Matt_McWilliams:disqus

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Glad you learned something Aaron :)

      Your departure experiences have been vanilla to date, but you get to make them memorable for all future departures…and those that stay.

  • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

    I don’t think I have a good/bad example of a time I left a company for someone else. That alone is my example…I’ve never experienced a good/bad send off. Hmm.

    But the lesson I just learned: I will not pay that ‘no experience’ send off to any of my team members. Starting….NOW.

    Thanks for the burnt rice today @Matt_McWilliams:disqus

  • http://twitter.com/rxalexbarker Alex

    Great post Matt! I’m sure all of us who haven’t had the privilege to work for Dave are green with envy…

    Any good stories/ideas about the reverse situation? What should an employee do to show appreciation for the team/company?

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      When I moved out of state and transition from on-site work to telecommuting, I threw a little lunch party and invited those with whom I had worked closely to thank them. Got pizza and soda for everyone and cake or something like that. We visited over lunch hour and I told them how much I’d miss them. I wasn’t in a leadership position but wanted to make sure I’d thank everyone.

      • rxalexbarker

        Great idea Lily! I’ll probably try that when I leave my company!

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Wow. You are probably one of only 7 people to ever do that…especially not in a leadership position.

        That is awesome!

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Alex,

      Good question! I think one big way is exactly what Tara and I have done for Dave’s company. We’ve referred a ton of people there.

      The other thing is what I wrote about above and what @33945ba5526a035d9fb8e0fa66439009:disqus writes about. Working your butt off the last few weeks and leaving things better.

      http://chrislocurto.com/what-to-do-when-a-team-member-leaves#comment-627973781

      Those are the two best ways I can think of.

      • rxalexbarker

        Matt,
        Good advice. I’ll be leaving my employer soon and I’ll be sure to leave a lasting impression!

        • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

          Do it! It will definitely come back to benefit you.

  • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

    This may only be peripherally related, but it’s been heavy on my mind lately so I’m going to share it.

    I’m currently working off-site from my company, and have been for the past four months. In that time, I’ve been contacted by my company’s leadership exactly zero times. None. Nool. Bupkis. Nada. Not a single word.

    Emails? Sure, as broadcasts to the company as a whole (we’re a whopping 70 employees). And after an all-hands. And in the hallways over there when I happen to be in the building.

    But _intentional_ communication? Nope.

    “Hey, how’s it going over there? Need anything from us?”

    “Have you heard of any opportunities we might be able to take advantage of? Any other slots we might fit someone into?”

    “Want to buy donuts for your team just for fun one Wednesday morning?”

    Nothing. Crickets.

    I mention it because, if I were to walk in and give notice today, and the company were to want to throw me a going-away party next week, I’d probably decline. Because it wouldn’t be genuine. It wouldn’t be authentic. And that’s a critical piece of Matt’s story above, and many of the others being shared here today.

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      …..

      Yeah, I got nothing man. Wow. (and sorry…that just sucks massively)

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      …..

      Yeah, I got nothing man. Wow. (and sorry…that just sucks massively)

    • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ Bob Winchester

      I know this feeling very well! I’ve been on the outside and on the inside where leadership didn’t have any deliberate personal communication. It’s a tough pill to swallow and can make you feel very lonely and worthless.

      The only thing I can say is that you shouldn’t let it stop you from picking up the phone. The more noise you make, the more they will remember you. Oh, and sometimes taking a trip and seeing them face-to-face can help them make the connection.

      No matter what I hope you keep your head up about it!!!!

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams


        The only thing I can say is that you shouldn’t let it stop you from picking up the phone.”

        Great point Bob.
        @BretWortman:disqus I think there might be a lesson here. Not trying to be preachy (’cause trust me, I would have already picked up my toys and gone home…and probably mooned them on the way out) but:

        I think this might be an opportunity for you to be a leader. Show them leadership. Pick up the phone yourself and seek them out. Do the same with any peers or direct reports. Do it with everyone.

        I accidentally became a manager once in part because I demanded to meet with the CEO one-on-one each week. He kinda liked that and promoted me.

        I could be totally wrong, but I think it’s a low-risk, high-reward proposition.

        • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

          Not preachy at all.

          I’ve suggested improvements to company communication in various forums in the past. The official view from leadership is that they prefer to stick to broadcasting their vision once every 3 months during regularly-scheduled all-hands meetings, and offering an open-door policy at all other times.

          Personally, I think “open door policy” is management slang for “I’m too lazy to communicate with you, so I’m going to put the onus on you and the responsibility on you so that when you don’t, I can always say to you that my door was open and you just didn’t take advantage.”

          Example: Some months ago I suggested during an all-hands when everyone was lamenting the lack of communication and acknowledging that we were pretty shockingly bad at it, that perhaps if we wanted to value it more, we needed to not only become more deliberate about it and more intentional, but we ought to put our money where our mouths are and do it more than once every 3 months. Management seemed open, but by this point in the company’s life, almost everyone in the rank-and-file have checked out.

          It’s not a good time. But I’m hoping to have a potential solution in place here soon. Thanks for the suggestion!

          • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

            Love this quote:
            I think “open door policy” is management slang for “I’m too lazy to communicate with you, so I’m going to put the onus on you and the responsibility on you so that when you don’t, I can always say to you that my door was open and you just didn’t take advantage.”

            Sounds like a disaster man. There is a point when all ears are deaf that you must move on.

            Keep me/us updated on what happens.

  • Hunter

    Great thoughts here Matt. I recently heard a CEO, that I respect a lot, talk about celebrating when an employee arrives (another good idea). He talked about showering them with gifts, taking them to lunch and really making it a big deal when someone joins the team. However he downplayed (and even suggested the opposite of you) celebrating when someone leaves. I appreciate you thinking of an employee’s time as something that should be celebrated at the beginning and the end. More importantly I appreciate you changing my opinion on the topic. Keep up the great work!

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Wow man.

      “an employee’s time as something that should be celebrated at the beginning and the end.”

      It certainly changed my opinion. I used to think “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” instead of “Hey, thanks for giving up 6,000 hours of your life to help me make money.”

      The former not only leaves a bad taste in the remaining team members’ mouths, but is also just a crappy way to live. I’d much rather make them feel valued when they leave and possibly secure a friend for life.

      • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

        …and maybe secure great referrals from them who will recommend your organization to their friends.

      • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

        I’ve also come to realize that what you do for the departing team member isn’t just for them, much as a funeral isn’t really for the deceased.

        The real effects are felt by those who are still on the team. They see and judge how those who leave are treated and know, based on that, how they will be treated if and when they ever leave. It’s a big statement about the integrity of leadership. Treating your people well while they’re doing something for you is pretty easy. But treating them well when they’re leaving and you have no compelling reason to do something for them, that’s harder.

        • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

          Dang dude. You must be butter because today you are ON A ROLL!

          “what you do for the departing team member isn’t just for them, much as a funeral isn’t really for the deceased.”

          I need a separate Twitter feed for your quotes today brother.

        • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

          Bret – what great insight! You are so right – the team that is “left behind” is watching how leadership handles the exit of a teammate.

      • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

        LOVE THIS IDEA. So true, and so right to do. The person leaving you maybe just gave you years of their life…that’s worth more than gold, don’t you think? Thanks for the eye opener today.

      • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

        LOVE THIS IDEA. So true, and so right to do. The person leaving you maybe just gave you years of their life…that’s worth more than gold, don’t you think? Thanks for the eye opener today.

  • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

    From 1996-2005 I was an X-ray O.R. tech in NY, and had relocated to Florida. When I gave my notice, a party on my behalf was planned in a local restaurant, where many of the nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologist, and several others in the hospital attended. There were cards, gifts, and lots of hugs.

    In particular, I recall one surgeon who left the hospital in between cases, changed back into his suit, drove to the restaurant, and gave me a hug and a reference letter. He wanted me to read it in front of him. Then he went back to do his next surgery. I cried like a baby.

    I still take that letter out and read it when I’m feeling homesick. And I still keep in touch with several of the people there, many whom have since retired.

    It was a real “George Bailey” moment for me. It also left a positive impression with the TWO people that were coming in to replace me. They knew they were entering into a family, not just a job!

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      LOVE this story!!!! Of course I think it’s product of a great culture + a rockstar team member. I’m sure you earned that recognition too.

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

        A couple of the docs suggested that I hang my lead apron from the ceiling in one of the surgical suites, sort of like retiring a jersey in a sports arena ceremony! Don’t know how “sterile” that would have been for the surgeries, though!

        • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

          Leaving your lead apron to hang from the ceiling would rock on several levels at once:
          1. It would be great decoration.
          2. It would be great motivation for your successors
          3. It would give patients something weird to look at as they make their journey to La-la land.

          Just sayin.

          • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

            LOL!!! The lead apron was a camouflage design with a broken bone embroided under my name…that may give the patients a “bad trip”! But I love the motivation thing.
            The two that came on after me are both gone, and they went through about 4 people that first year, but for the last 5 years or so, the same two guys have been there. I know them both, and they both have the strong sense of urgency, passion, and humor that it takes to work in that enviornment. Camo or not!

          • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

            LOL!!! The lead apron was a camouflage design with a broken bone embroided under my name…that may give the patients a “bad trip”! But I love the motivation thing.
            The two that came on after me are both gone, and they went through about 4 people that first year, but for the last 5 years or so, the same two guys have been there. I know them both, and they both have the strong sense of urgency, passion, and humor that it takes to work in that enviornment. Camo or not!

            • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

              I would not want to wake up from surgery to a camo apron looking at me from the ceiling…

              • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

                No kidding…imagine waking up from open heart surgery to that! Just saying…

                Might get it pumping though.

        • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

          Leaving your lead apron to hang from the ceiling would rock on several levels at once:
          1. It would be great decoration.
          2. It would be great motivation for your successors
          3. It would give patients something weird to look at as they make their journey to La-la land.

          Just sayin.

    • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

      Wow – this is awesome! How great for you and the team – very impressive. I agree with Lily – I’m sure you earned it!

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

        Thanks, Carol. That was a very awesome team to be a part of. From what I’ve heard, including Matt’s testimony here, Lampo is the way.

        • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

          I agree. My job now is pretty awesome, but I would love an opportunity there!

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

          and that’s why we’re helping them spread the word about the EntreLeader way, so there are many more businesses that follow that path and we can find those opportunities or start our own.

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Where’s the “Plus 10 points” button on here?

      There is so much power in this Scott.

      For anyone who misses his comment but happens to catch mine here:

      ******READ HIS COMMENT ABOVE!******

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

        Thanks, Matt. I love this post, because it’s sort of an insider’s peek at what a great experience it must be to work for Lampo—both as a team member, and as a spouse of a team member.

        • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

          Never thought of that. I like to say I married into the Lampo family. And it is a great family indeed. I personally still have friends from there.

          • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

            I know what you mean. I married into the Lampo family too.

            • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

              And then you both decided to open your own branch… :0)

    • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

      What a great story, Scott! And THAT is the way you treat valued team mates when they leave!

  • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

    I was a Technical Account Manager for a company in 1996 and had been assigned but one account: AOL. This was during their heyday (they were rising fast and adding members by the thousands each minute).

    When my last week arrived after two years of sitting in weekly performance meetings and bashing our operating system group on AOL’s behalf on a pretty regular basis, my own company did nothing. I gave them 3 months’ notice (for various reasons, I wasn’t just being nice) and so they had plenty of time to see it coming.

    AOL, on the other hand, during my last performance meeting, brought in a cake, presented me with a duffle bag and T-shirt with AOL logos on them. It was a pretty nice duffle too, I used it for years after. They _really_ had nothing to gain from giving gifts to a departing vendor!

    I was incredibly touched, and at the same time, moved by the contrast.

    My customer was more sad to see me leave than my company was. But I guess I’d rather have had it that way than the reverse.

  • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

    I was a Technical Account Manager for a company in 1996 and had been assigned but one account: AOL. This was during their heyday (they were rising fast and adding members by the thousands each minute).

    When my last week arrived after two years of sitting in weekly performance meetings and bashing our operating system group on AOL’s behalf on a pretty regular basis, my own company did nothing. I gave them 3 months’ notice (for various reasons, I wasn’t just being nice) and so they had plenty of time to see it coming.

    AOL, on the other hand, during my last performance meeting, brought in a cake, presented me with a duffle bag and T-shirt with AOL logos on them. It was a pretty nice duffle too, I used it for years after. They _really_ had nothing to gain from giving gifts to a departing vendor!

    I was incredibly touched, and at the same time, moved by the contrast.

    My customer was more sad to see me leave than my company was. But I guess I’d rather have had it that way than the reverse.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      Dropped jaw…. all I have to say.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      Dropped jaw…. all I have to say.

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Totally tweetable. :)

      Kind of sad. And cool.

      What a great story though (even if great means learning from the stupidity of others)

      • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

        I’d much rather learn from others’ stupidity rather than my own!

        • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

          Funny I read that this morning in The Purpose Driven Life…something to the effect of “while learning from experience is good, learning from other people’s mistakes is even better.”

          • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

            I tell my kids this all the time. “Smart people learn from their mistakes. Wise people learn from everyone else’s.”

          • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

            I tell my kids this all the time. “Smart people learn from their mistakes. Wise people learn from everyone else’s.”

        • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

          AMEN, Bret!

  • http://bestoked.blogspot.com Luke Stokes

    I worked for Dave for almost 4 years and eventually left to focus on my own business which really needed my full attention. Beyond just a great send off, one of the things I’ve appreciated most about the way Dave and his team have treated me is that I’m still part of “us.”

    I may not be an official team member any more, but my friends there still consider me part of the team. They even asked me to guest post on their Develop with Purpose blog. Everyone wants to belong to something and when you create a team culture worth belonging to, it can (and should) be a sad thing to turn away from. But in the end, people matter more than anything else and treating people right is always the best move.

    I continually encourage people to work for Dave. They treated me right and continue to do so.

  • http://bestoked.blogspot.com Luke Stokes

    I worked for Dave for almost 4 years and eventually left to focus on my own business which really needed my full attention. Beyond just a great send off, one of the things I’ve appreciated most about the way Dave and his team have treated me is that I’m still part of “us.”

    I may not be an official team member any more, but my friends there still consider me part of the team. They even asked me to guest post on their Develop with Purpose blog. Everyone wants to belong to something and when you create a team culture worth belonging to, it can (and should) be a sad thing to turn away from. But in the end, people matter more than anything else and treating people right is always the best move.

    I continually encourage people to work for Dave. They treated me right and continue to do so.

    • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

      “Everyone wants to belong to something and when you create a team culture worth belonging to, it can (and should) be a sad thing to turn away from. ” That’s a great quote Luke. I’m saving it if you don’t mind. :)

    • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

      “Everyone wants to belong to something and when you create a team culture worth belonging to, it can (and should) be a sad thing to turn away from. ” That’s a great quote Luke. I’m saving it if you don’t mind. :)

      • http://bestoked.blogspot.com Luke Stokes

        Thanks Aaron, I’m flattered! Go right ahead.

      • http://bestoked.blogspot.com Luke Stokes

        Thanks Aaron, I’m flattered! Go right ahead.

      • Guest

        How true, Aaron – a team culture worth belong to – I love it!

      • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

        I agree, Aaron – I’m saving this quote also!

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      I remember that blog post. I did a double take at first thinking maybe you had gone back.

      But that is the culture there. As @496f5107d7edd633a82d0399dd0d50cd:disqus said somewhere in these comments you have to celebrate when someone joins the team (easy, but still sadly rarely done) and when someone departs. It’s a celebration of their time with you and quite frankly the more I think about it, something that is owed to them.

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      I remember that blog post. I did a double take at first thinking maybe you had gone back.

      But that is the culture there. As @496f5107d7edd633a82d0399dd0d50cd:disqus said somewhere in these comments you have to celebrate when someone joins the team (easy, but still sadly rarely done) and when someone departs. It’s a celebration of their time with you and quite frankly the more I think about it, something that is owed to them.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      That’s great Luke. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

    Many years ago I left Best Buy with a 45-day advanced notice, timed perfectly so that July 3rd would be my last day. I got a burger and a watch, and a very happy 4th that year.

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Was the burger any good? Does the watch still work? :)

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    Great story and great post Matt! We’ve sanitized the work environment so much that we have labeled many things “inappropriate”. Many “sensible” business owners or bosses would have hesitated to give anything to someone who would be moving on very shortly.
    My coworkers were extremely generous with a great baby shower for our first child. They invited me and my husband out to lunch, reserved a room at a restaurant and lavished us with baby gifts. It was awesome. When I left the company due to downsizing, my leaders were all choked up. I had no hard feelings and I had nothing but gratitude for all they taught me and the opportunities they gave me.

    A few years earlier, I had the extreme opposite. “Horrible Boss” whose story I’ve shared before here was trying to find a way to get rid of me. I was the academic coordinator at a school and one member of the board warned me. This guy was going to press charges making up a story about me taking school computers, just so he wouldn’t have to pay severance. Fortunately the other board members didn’t back him up and even the school’s lawyer was on my side. We took the case to arbitration and I got my check and moved on never to look back.

    Both situations were a reflection of leadership and culture. One was great and the other one a nightmare. They were also a reflection of the day-to-day environment, one motivating, one toxic. In the situations when team members are moving on to bigger, better things, good leaders encourage and build bridges, horrible bosses burn them.

    • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

      Wow, Lily! What a huge contrast in work environment! Great examples of both types of work place interaction!

    • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

      Wow, Lily! What a huge contrast in work environment! Great examples of both types of work place interaction!

    • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

      Lily, that’s a very sad commentary on the poisonous culture of the one place. Glad you got out of there! And how great that you had the other wonderful experience to counteract it.

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Great quote in there: We’ve sanitized the work environment so much that we have labeled many things “inappropriate”.

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Great quote in there: We’ve sanitized the work environment so much that we have labeled many things “inappropriate”.

    • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

      Holy contrast Batman! What a terrible environment to be leaving in the Academic Coordinator position. I can’t believe what some people will do to get their own way. That’s sad.

    • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

      Holy contrast Batman! What a terrible environment to be leaving in the Academic Coordinator position. I can’t believe what some people will do to get their own way. That’s sad.

  • http://twitter.com/5StarLeadership Dale R. Wilson

    Great post, Matt. Workplaces that have a ‘family atmosphere’ are getting lost in this ‘new normal.’

  • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

    What a great point about inspiring the remaining team members – never thought of it that way, but what a great demonstrating that instills mutual respect and loyalty.

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

    I’ve seen people leave quietly, or loudly, both under bad situations. I’ve also seen pretty bad quiet leaving from people who should have been celebrated for they did, not let go quietly especially after all they helped with.

    After the person leaves, there is always an unrest felt, whether details of their leaving are known or not.

    I think it just makes sense to do a great send off of a team member that is leaving in god standing, because if it isn’t done, people talk. They wonder what the ‘real circumstances’ for them going were.

    Sometimes, having a no gossip policy means to eliminate possibilities for gossip proactively.

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      I just made a note to write a post entitled “Pink Slips (Or…How Not to Fire Someone)” and one called “Kramer vs. Kramer (Or…Avoiding Bad Breakups in Business).

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Nah, nothing like that has ever really been done for me when I left a company.

    • Matt_McWilliams

      Me either really. :(

      I did get a cake one time and when I was much younger, a round of applause. Come to think of it…those were special in their own way.

      I recommend people to both places. No large consumer goods out of it, but that’s OK.