What makes a goodbye good?

Sometimes, in order to say a good hello, you first have to say a good goodbye.

I wrote the letter below in early February, upon leaving The Forum Corporation.  It was a farewell to friends I’d made there over the course of more than two decades.  Of course I hope and expect to be staying in touch with all of them, but as Felicity Rivers (a character in the Malory Towers books, a British school series by Enid Blyton that I still reread in times of need) said, “Once I’ve done a really good round of goodbyes, I feel that I can look forward.”

As a leader, how you exit can be pretty important.  From one-line emails to long, tearful speeches, leaders say goodbye in many different ways—and people often remember how they did it.

What do you think … What makes a goodbye good?


Dear Friends,

On my third day at Forum, when I found myself in a meeting that required me to interpret inkblots with Michael R, burly manager of the Forum print facility, I said to myself, “I’ll be outta here in a week.”

Well … turns out I stayed for 23 years and 18 weeks.  And it’s all because of you!

I can’t even begin to say how much you and this company have meant to me:  how much I’ve learned from you and what an honor it’s been for me to work with and get to know you.  I’m so grateful for all you’ve given me and, especially, for all the fun and laughter over the years.

I look forward to staying in touch in the future, but right now I’m looking back fondly on the past:

  • From the Course Shell team to the Strategic Speed team…
  • From E&G, to Product Development, to Forum Canada, to Shared Services, to Solutions, to R&D and the “BLT”…
  • From Dynamic Selling to First-Line Essentials…
  • From The Strategizer (on floppy disk!) to Speed to Mastery…
  • From Mona to Mimi to Kerry to Joe to Kerry to Ted to Larry to Galina to Ron to Ed…
  • From “Process Queens” to “The All-Hands Call 2027” to “We Three Gals” (long live the Follies!)…
  • Through ups and downs, rough and smooth…

“It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right; I hope you had the time of your life.” –Green Day

… because I did!  THANK YOU.




About Jocelyn R Davis

Jocelyn Davis is Principal of Seven Learning, a leadership development firm that creates a lasting lift in leaders' effectiveness using classic books, films, and stories.
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