By: Jeannee Parker Martin, Vice Chairwoman & Principal
To paraphrase Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer prize winning columnist and author, there is a trick to the graceful exit – it begins with a vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over and to let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance in our lives. It involves a sense of the future, a belief that every exit line is an entry. And, when we transition, we can take ourselves along. Quite gracefully.
As I move from my role as CEO to Vice Chairman & Principal, it is imperative to focus on a smooth transition, a graceful exit to allow the new CEO to lead. As our newly appointed CEO, Des Varady, said at TCG’s 25th anniversary party last week, “heart” is at the core of what TCG
does – caring about patients, staff and colleagues; teaching and sharing what we know to assure high quality outcomes and performance; and guts to take risks, to do the right things right, and to adapt as the industry changes. And the heart of a graceful transition is having the guts to step aside, to encourage and coach, to guide and counsel, and to let go of operational decision-making.
Des joined TCG just over a year ago, and has since led key operational initiatives. His experience and background will help take TCG to the next stage. He is committed to TCG’s strategic vision and will work with the executive team and board to continue to grow and transform the company – as partners with our staff, our clients, and our strategic partners. I look forward to working with him, as a board member, to continue our growth trajectory and partnering with our clients to achieve success. Learn more in our recent press release.
During times of transition, we must lead with confidence and transition gracefully – respecting the past and present, and preparing the company for the future. Ours was not an overnight transition, but one that has occurred gradually and has allowed us to transition smoothly. Allow yourself time, if possible, when placing new executives in key leadership roles. It helps ground your staff, clients and strategic partners.
In his new book, Catalyst, Stephen Smith reminds us that “The world has a deep inventory of people who are better, faster, smarter or more experienced than us.” And, as CEOs, we must transition gracefully to allow them to soar.