It’s Time

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Leaders, It’s Time….

Recently, I had a conversation with the executive director of a nonprofit that took an interesting turn. We went from talking about dealing with conflict to “how long do you think a leader should stay in a particular role?” We had a great conversation where we landed on about 10 years as being the time by which most leaders need and want a new challenge. In particular, this leader had been in her previous role about 12 years. In the role where I met her, she was following an ED who’d been in the role more than 25 years. Since my conversation with this particular leader, I’ve asked several leaders, “How do you know when it’s time to leave your post or an organization?” But I asked the question with a bit of a twist and put it this way, “Do you think you’re effective once you’re with an organization more than ten years?”  While data tells us that the average tenure of executive level employees is noticeable less than 10 years, the responses that I received varied from, “Yes, I have more that I believe I can accomplish here” to “Why? Are you head hunting?” 


How many years have you been in your current role?

0 – 3

4 – 6

7 – 10

11 – 15



If you’ve been in your organization four or more years, how is your vision/mandate/focus different from when you started?  


If you’ve been in your organization/role for 7 – 10, how would you describe your levels of enthusiasm, engagement, and effectiveness?


If you’ve been in your role more than 11 years, why do you stay?


If you want to be a podcast guest to share your perspective on this aspect of leadership, inbox me or contact me at 856-528-9750.

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