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To know when it’s time to go is one of the most difficult things for a leader. Too many executives can’t let go of their jobs, and stay for too long, until they are asked to leave in the end. With the consequence that they are almost out of alternatives. The problem with someone in an executive job is that the commitment is big. After all those years it becomes hard for many people to see the difference between ‘who you are’ and ‘what you do’. You have gotten used to having impact. Having people respond to your requests immediately. At one point, you don’t even know better than that no one contradicts you. People work day and night, and incredibly hard. On top of that, they have heightened the pace in the corporate life. This is my own experience.

One of the intentions of the retiring executive is rest. He wants to spend more time with his family. But in reality, this is almost a myth. Someone who has worked hard his whole career is going to sit at home all of a sudden? It happens, but it is a big exception. Besides, the life expectancy has greatly increased, which means that if an executive retires at 60 he still has more than 20 ‘good years’ to go. This is why it’s so important to plan your career in time. ‘What do you want to do in the next stage of your life?’ It’s worth taking a look at that question and answering it!


By Paul Donkers

"my purpose is to help improve strategy execution, to create high performing teams and coach for effective business leaders"

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