Knowing when to get off the dance floor

Most of my long-term friends are all getting older, In business, it’s important to know when to step off the dance floor. If you are in the Military, there is a mandatory age limit of service. You don’t get a choice. If you are Warren Buffett, you just keep going as long as you believe you can contribute to the success of the company. For many others, it is your choice when you hang up your cleats.

Purpose, influence, and relevance are key to understanding when the time is right. I have seen many people stay longer than they should. Most of these do so out of ego and pride. The key discussion points start with purpose- do you still have objectives to grow the company, influence – do people still respond to you and most important is relevance – are you still relevant in your business. There is no shame in stepping back and in fact, I have been told by many people that it is one of the greatest changes in your life.

I can’t tell you how many companies go forward with greater results after the patriarch retires. I could name 20 companies right now where the next in line just waited until it was their turn. When it came, the wisdom and energy of youth took over and propelled the company to greater heights.

If you are on the dance floor (business setting) and you are dancing slow while everyone else is moving to a faster beat, it may be time to reconsider if it is your time. A very smart person (my oldest daughter) once told me that the key is to already be involved in the next act before you let go of the first act. Sound advice for anyone who is nearing the age of decision.

If you have the luxury of making a retirement decision on your own, asking yourself the three questions above may just help you make the right decision.  KT

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