What To Do When Your Boss Abruptly Retires- Anton Gunn

I know you didn’t see this one coming. What To Do When Your Boss Abruptly Retires?

It shouldn’t be surprising to you that we’re going through unprecedented challenges as a nation right now.  

Many people that thought they’d have a long career are rethinking what they want to do for the rest of their lives. 

CEOs are retiring without even giving a 12-month advanced notice.  

This is the person that you came to work for.  

This is the person that put you in the position you’re in right now.  

You look up to them, but now they’re retiring.  

And you’re concerned about what this means for you.  

Here is what tends to happen when a CEO abruptly retires: 

Organizations go in a new direction. 

Sometimes organizations go in a completely different direction.  

They may have loved the CEO and thought they were phenomenal, but now they want to go in a completely different direction.  

That direction may not include you. 

They may want to change the entire leadership team. 

Or even worse, a new CEO comes in and doesn’t add value to you. 

Then, you’ll be looking for the exit door. 

It happens every day.  

What To Do When Your Boss Abruptly Retires

1. Go to HR. 

You need to go to Human Resources.  

Ask them, “Do we have a succession plan for the CEO of this organization?” 

You should hope that your HR department has been doing succession planning, but many organizations don’t think twice about these things.  

2. Ask the important question. 

If they have a succession plan, your next question should be, “Am I in that plan?” 

You’ve got to be ready for the big chair.  

I know you want it.  

And I think you’d do a great job in that big chair.  

So, you must ask if you’re in the succession plan.  

That’s going to tell you a lot.  

Did the organization think enough of you to include you in the succession plan? 

Maybe they never saw you as a potential replacement for the CEO 

That’ll tell you that they don’t think that you are leadership material. 

3. Create a personal game plan. 

What is your personal game plan for what happens next?  

You shouldn’t keep your resume in a drawer and not ready to go.  

Keep it updated every year.  

You should always be taking courses to add new skills and improve yourself as a leader. 

You should also be networking. 

Most people find the next opportunity at professional conferences. 

If you’ve been so busy doing the work trying to impress your CEO and never take time to connect with colleagues that do the same job as you, you’ve missed an opportunity to prepare yourself for your succession plan. 

This may mean out the door to somewhere else. 

Those are three quick things that you should be doing if your CEO leaves abruptly. 

Let HR know that you’re ready for the big chair. 

If you don’t get good vibes from their plan, get to the next professional conference. 

You need to network before that new CEO begins. 

If this is a challenge for you, connect with me on LinkedIn. 

Send me a message that you don’t know what your next step is after your CEO retired. 

I will be happy to help you with a game plan. 


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