An Exit Most Honorable
recently published article, The HR Doctor provided a
step-by-step owners manual for the creation of an agency
succession plan. However, a key ingredient to succession is
the appearance of a vacancy. This can be a new position or a
vacancy arising from the departure of an employee.
Departures are primarily built around
happy events. A person accepts another position in career
advancement locally or across the country. A person reaches
the point in their life when they decide to retire.
However, a vacancy can also be the
result of tragic circumstances such as death or criminal
conviction. It can also be the unfortunate outcome of
disabilities that leave the employee unable to fulfill
required duties and responsibilities. It can also result from
being fired for failure of performance or behavior at
However, this is an article about a
vacancy created by the extraordinarily honorable departure of
an extraordinary elected official.
Commissioner Marjorie Conlan
of Broward County,
Fla. recently sent a letter
to all her colleagues with the stunning news that after many
years of elective service, she will not run again. This
followed a difficult and thoughtful weighing of personal
commitments against continued government service. It is a
decision many of us make at some point in our careers. The
best public servants, whether elected or appointed, leave
behind echoes for many years throughout the organization. The
echoes are reflections of their strength of character, their
caring and their legacy of contributions.
paraphrase an anonymous saying we should all strive to
the kind of life that will lead other people to say that you
stood for something wonderful. That is the legacy of this
are terribly difficult and very personal decisions to make,
especially when the odds of your being overwhelmingly returned
to office are very substantial. Marjorie Conlans own words
can help in the difficulty of this decision for
Public service is a rewarding
experience. It is challenging, life changing, not always fun;
but it is always rewarding. Some of those rewards are not
fully appreciated until long after the experience has begun.
From the moment that I entered public service and raised my
right hand to take the oath of my office, I promised myself
and my constituents that at any time that I felt unable to
commit myself fully to the duties and responsibilities of this
office that I would step aside.
later referred to Max Deprees book, The Art of
Leadership, in which he said that, The first
responsibility of a leader is to find reality. The last is to
say thank you. In between, the leader is a
not a simple thing to walk away from the dais but I know my
heart. An unknown author once penned Blessed it is the leader
who seeks the best for those he serves. I know that this is
the best for those who have given me the opportunity to serve
over these years and I am truly blessed in my
are right Margie; you have been blessed in your life with a
great family and service to a great community. However, you
have also blessed others by standing for something wonderful
throughout your public service career. You have made a
difference. You have left a positive legacy.
there anything more any of us could hope for in meeting our
own commitments to our communities, to our families and to our
wishes in your own very honorable exit.
The HR Doctor