Taking Flight

Today is an end and thus a beginning.

So goes life. 

Today is my last day with my Company. Not my choice, but one I accept and fully understand. We were told it is too expensive here in my City touching an Ocean. It is good business to move our work eastward to a new City in sight of Mountains.

No regrets. My team was given several months notice and of the 15 team members impacted, ten found new jobs before this final day. To be present here on this last day after leading the team through this transition is my deepest honor as a leader. My current team is uniformly young and this is their first experience with a layoff. A lesson learned in corporate life. A lesson learned in life period.

As each team member worked on their own job search, I was touched on how they supported each other. There were times of stress and job rejection for each person, but the team support was unwavering. I am proud of how the team stood tall, continued to perform, and focused on one goal, where everyone gets a new job in line with their career goals.

Of the five remaining team members on this last day, all have new jobs lined up starting next month. A flurry of activity near the end paid off. Overall, a successful transition for all. The company moves on, well-grounded and set for ongoing success. My team moves on as well, leaving the safety of this place and taking flight, each setting their own path.

Snapseed 5My chosen metaphor for this post, Taking Flight, has its genesis over one year ago and well before any thought of our department moving far away in view of grand mountains. One of our team members had a day-at-a-time calendar on her desk. As she tore off each day, she would create an Origami Crane with each sheet and place them around our team office space. She even created small Origami Cranes out of Post-its. Eventually, she stopped created new cranes, but the impact was complete with dozens of Origami Cranes circling our office space. They were beautiful to see. 

Team members moved on, but the paper cranes remained. I recently gathered up each crane with a plan to hold them as a memory of my time leading this great group. The paper cranes now rest in a jar that I plan to take with me to my next job and sit at my workstation. Yea, I am a sentimental soul and no apologies. We were a great team accomplishing so much while our start-up company grew and finally went public. To carry this visual reminder will help as I transition to lead a new team at a new company. We are the stories we tell and my jar of Origami Cranes is a great story starter. I will continue to tell stories of my past teams as my new team writes their own stories.

So goes life.

This ending today allows for an exciting beginning tomorrow.  

Snapseed 6I have been blessed more than I deserve to have worked with multiple great teams over my years in corporate life. This last group though was special with their youth, intelligence, and commitment. We performed and we had fun along the way. To watch them grow as individuals and as a team inspired me.

I miss you all. Each of you has taught me something important and made me a better leader. Fly high, fly far and always remember … you are never alone. 

WeMoveTogether

8 thoughts on “Taking Flight

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  1. I believe any of us of a certain age has these transition experiences. I appreciate your focus on the team work and emotional support in a time of high stress. And yes, the symbolism of the origami cranes is a beautiful momento to carry with you.

  2. What a beautiful essay Michael. Wonderful thoughts from a wonderful leader. This is what leadership is all about. Best to you in your journey.

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