When You Get the Last Word‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
The Law of The Exit
When You Get the Last Word

“Always leave them wanting more!”
– P. T. Barnum

The Law of The Exit: How we leave is more important than how we arrive. If you leave an organization bitterly, the organization won, and you lost. If you leave content, everyone wins. Make your exit an experience that you enjoy and the people you leave celebrate their successes with you. There is no success without successors. Leave successors to carry on in your absence. Fulfillment, respect, and a reputation must be earned daily.

What's Left in Your Wake?
Many years ago, I worked with a colleague who was probably the most difficult person I have ever encountered. He had the reputation for charming people he met, but leaving them unsatisfied, confused, and often angry. I remember he bragged  that he only shined the front of his shoes, but never the backs of them. He said he wanted to make a great impression when he met people, but he didn’t care what they thought as he left!

This attitude carried over into his work ethic and personal relationships. He would charm his way into a room, work the people over, and leave with everyone either enchanted or disgruntled. A year after I left that organization, he was caught in an affair with a member’s wife. It not only destroyed his family, but also took down the staff team, the other person’s family, and his entire reputation. To this day, people still reel from the relationships he destroyed in his selfish acts.

How we leave people is important. What do you want to be remembered for when you are gone? Do you want people to miss the motivation and momentum you created with them, or do you want them to strike your name from every plaque in the building after you are gone?

I heard this saying, that if you leave an organization bitterly, the organization won, and you lost. If you leave an organization content, you (and the organization) were winners. I’m not saying it comes down to you vs. the people you work with, but most bitter exits are detrimental to everyone.

A client I called gave me a perfect example of this. I asked the receptionist for the CEO I had spoken with by phone and emailed for several years. “She’s no longer here...” was the muted response. I asked for the assistant I had also spoken with previously. Again, a somber, “She’s no longer here, either.” Jokingly, I said, “I hope their departures weren’t in bad circumstances.” The receptionist broke character and said, “Well, let’s just say that things happen, and we have to move on.”

Value is lost when our exit is...


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Leaders who don’t either count the cost or put funds aside to fuel their new ideas are blindly walking into a dark room, without a flashlight. It is one thing to make mistakes or missteps. We all do that. But it is completely foolish to impulsively launch an innovation or new directions without a “backup plan.”

When I went through a career change years ago I learned that you can’t make a drastic transition without some funds set aside, a steady income from my spouse or a basic knowledge of the territory I was venturing into. Without at least one of these in place, it would have been a disaster.

Value is the key to any...

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"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy."
-Radindranath Tagore

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."
-Henri Nouwen

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

"I've always said you have to go through a lot of heartache in life to feel joy."
-Doug Collins

“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home. It’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.”
-Chuck Palahniuk


Jim Mathis
The Reinvention PRO™

52 Tuscan way
St. Augustine, FL 32092 USA



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Jim Mathis, The Reinvention PRO
52 Tuscan Way, Suite #202-11
St. Augustine, Florida 32092