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Some times leaders get ###t-canned because they weren't good to people.  More often they're neutral on people and just simply couldn't get results.  THEN they get ###t-canned.

But - sometimes there are good leaders that simply reach the stage in their shelf life as leaders where it's in everyone's best interest for them to go.  These leaders aren't bad in any aspect - they've just been in place to long and new blood is required.   

For those leaders, how much more humane would we be as companies if we allowed those leaders (good leaders, just time to go) to say goodbye and tell everyone what the company has meant to them, and how much they've loved serving the employee base in question?

Steve Ballmer, #1 at Microsoft, is out.  His shelf life is up, and new blood is desired and needed.  Microsoft is a great company regardless of what you think of Windows, how much Apple Kool-Aid you're drinking, etc.

Need proof that Microsoft is great? Check out the exit message opportunity they gave Ballmer and how he used it.  Must see video below (email subscribers click through for video): 

Wow.  You see a video like this, with Ballmer in all his "I'm a normal guy you can love" real talk and slightly sloppy dress and appearance, and it makes you wonder... Are they really asking Ballmer to leave?  How could you not rally around this guy?

Then you remember it's a results based society and like coaches in professional/college sports and performers in the entertainment world, it's always "what have you done for me lately".

But back to the message - how much more humane would your company be if it offered good leaders who just couldn't get it done (perhaps at all levels) to say goodbye respectfully?  On a smaller scale, of course.

Good luck with your billions, Steve Ballmer.  My favorite type of leader is the one who has billions in the bank and looks like he could greet me at Best Buy.  #hadmeathello



Your note on Best Buy greeters struck a chord with me. One of my favorite chapters in the awesome book, "Good to Great" talks about great CEOs (as defined by a number of metrics including the company outperforming the market and the sector for several years straight).

There are some great anecdotes about these humble CEOs. For instance, Ken Iverson (Nucor Steel) complained once about breaking his credit card while scraping the ice off his windshield. When someone suggested he just close in his carport to eliminate the ice his reply was, "heck, it's not that big a deal".

Very accessible book though some of the companies aren't doing so hot today.



Hey Matt -

I agree. Also interesting that the majority of companies in good to great are now on the brink, but suspect that has more to do with macroeconomics of certain industries than anything else....


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