December 11, 2019

Hanging on to your position

If there’s one thing that I could take away from my previous workplace, it would be this:

People can come and go in an organisation (or any social group for that matter). Some stay longer than others. But there is always a time and season for each and every person’s contribution. If it’s time for you to move on, move on.

This is not an excuse for you to quit when you face challenges in your situation. Nor is it an excuse for you to leave your friends and colleagues behind while you keep jumping from group to group, or company to company. But it has been a constant reminder for me to think about wider implications other than just consider about myself only.

Let’s say you hold some kind of leadership position. Your responsibilities have been pretty much the same for the last few years. You are already very familiar with the people you are leading. Perhaps there is no external pressure for you to relinquish your position so that someone else can take over. But have you ever asked yourself whether you should still be hanging on to your position? Or should you be moving on?

How to decide when to move on?

How do you when is the right time to move on? I think there might be two questions that we can ask ourselves to help us make our decision.

1. Are you the right person to bring this group of people to the next level?

Have you ever asked yourself whether you are the right person to bring this group of people to the next level? Would you be able to continue contributing to their growth?

If your answer is no, then is there someone else who could contribute to the growth of this group of people?

This phrase might sum it up well:

With great power, comes great responsibility.

As a person with a leadership position, you are responsible for the people under your care. And that sometimes means acknowledging that you might not be the best person to continue leading this group of people, although that doesn’t mean you can’t lead other groups of people.

2. Are you growing as a person?

Is your personal growth stagnating with this particular leadership position you are holding? Is there another opportunity for you, even if it means giving up your leadership position?

If your own personal growth is stagnating, it’s hard to imagine that you can continue being a positive influence for the people you are leading. As followers, we need to see you constantly breaking new ground and moving on to greater heights. You need to be the one to lead us into new territories. If you can’t grow yourself, then how about us?

Making your decision

I think that when the outcome of these 2 questions is congruent, it could probably help you to make your decision. When both questions are urging you to move on, perhaps you should really move on. Stop hanging on to your position and relinquish it, for the sake of yourself and your people. 

But of course, if you are still the best person to continue leading whoever you are leading, then do so with pride. And continue bringing your people to break new ground together with you. 

(Featured Image: Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

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