BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR
Moving on is a simple thing. What it leaves behind is hard.
Dave Mustaine, lyrics from “A Tout le Monde”1
As you experience success in your career game, you will inevitably leave behind positions for others to take on. When you begin to anticipate your next opportunity, it is natural to be tempted to give it too much of your attention. While this is only natural, we suggest that it is a temptation worth resisting because the moves you make on your way out matter. Last moves in a position are important because they signal a great deal about you to the others in your career game. How you leave says a great deal about you to your soonto-be former employer, your new or potential employers, your former and new coworkers, other members of professional and social networks, and so on. Down the road, in one capacity or another, your career game may cross paths with people who you left behind. Your parting moves are also important because of the impact they have on another player in your career game—your successor—and on the company being left behind.
Our purpose in this chapter is to offer you guidance regarding your considerations involved in planning and executing your last moves with an employer. We frame the discussion around the concept of leadership transitions because, in effect, that is what these last moves often involve—as you exit, your successor arrives—and, during this time, the company and its people need to continue to work productively. Within that framework, we focus mainly on the motivations of the exiting executive, while also recognizing those being pursued by other key game players—the company and the successor. From this discussion, we hope it becomes clear to you that the metric against which last moves are measured is the degree to which they create a solid foundation for successors. Take, for example, the way observers such as Good to Great author Jim Collins views Jack Welch's ability as a leader. Some-