Too much has been written on the concept of people leaving managers, not companies. While I’m sure people do in fact leave organizations they love, because of their managers, we need to be careful not to paint with such a wide brush. In my career, it’s rare that I’ve left an organization because of a manager. I’m wise enough to know how fortunate I’ve been to have had amazing managers, over the past 20 years.
My time at Walgreens has come to an end. I made the decision to leave the organization. I certainly didn’t leave because of my manager. Deepika Pandey, is unequivocally, one of the smartest digital marketers out there. Don’t take my word for it, just look at what Google has to say about her. She will push you, make you rethink what you think you know and coach you to be better. You’ll get autonomy and direction, along with accountability and trust. I learned more in the past 4 years than the previous 10 years. I grew more. I changed more.
I leave Walgreens, ready for the next adventure, better prepared to succeed and far more enabled to lead teams with individuals who have far more subject matter expertise, in an area, than I do.
The hardest part about leaving an organization, is the people. It’s always the people. You form bonds. You build relationships. You learn. You teach. And, if you do it all well, the gravitational pull that tries to keep you, because of them, is almost impossible to counter.
I wanted to share what I wrote to my team, on my last day, at the corner of Happy and Healthy.
Dang. You’re the best. No two ways about it. I thought a lot about what to write in a “farewell” email. Then, I realized, it’s probably not farewell. This is a small bubble we work in. The likelihood we’ll cross paths as colleagues, partners, competitors or team-members is incredibly probably. So with that, rather than pen a farewell email, I decided to craft one built on advice that I hope you take:
- Your word is your bond. Your integrity is everything. Always err on the side of being honest, forthright, direct and transparent. The sting your words may have will never last longer, than the feeling of betrayal that stems from a half-truth or boldface lie.
- You are not, order takers. Ask, “why.” Ask, until you feel comfortable. If you don’t understand the question or request, you are doomed to fail. Through asking, “why”, you may uncover a new path forward.
- Choose to play, “take it or leave it” sparingly. When you draw a line, realize there are only two options. There’s a 50/50 chance you walk out with what you want. But, through compromise, generally, via discussion and education, you can discover new approaches and options.
- For the most important topics, meet face-to-face. Email leaves far too much to interpretation. Furthermore, you will form better relationships through frank discussion. You can’t manage, let alone, lead, via email.
- Take your earned PTO. And when you take it, don’t answer your emails. Put your faith in your team, to cover for you, while you’re out. I promise to get this right one day.
- Be open to change. Consistency, while comfortable, will stop your growth. In fact, seek change. If you don’t drive the change you want, you are destined to be run over by change that’s less than desirable.
I have, in so many ways, enjoyed working with all of you. Early mornings, late nights, fire drills, the office banter, celebrating our successes, dissecting our misses and debating the tough decisions; they made good days better and the hard days, just a little bit easier.
Thank you all. Don’t be a stranger. If you need anything and yes I mean anything, reach out.
An embarrassment of riches. That’s how I would describe my team. Thankful to have had them for as long as I had them.
“Onto Cincinnati“…and by Cincinnati, I don’t actually mean I’m moving to Cincinnati. It’s a lovely city, but our future plans won’t be taking us there.