Leaders Are Willing To Abandon

Growing up we’re often taught that winners never quit. They stay the course. They’re unwilling to abandon ship.

The older I get, the more I realize the damage this lie has brought into the lives of so many people. And organizations.

The truth is, leaders need to be willing to abandon ship, when appropriate.

Sinking Ship

Image by M. Glasgow

Staying on a sinking ship is asinine. It frequently spells certain doom.

That’s why, once the ship has been cleared, the captain should abandon ship.

And that’s why, as a leader, you must be willing to abandon ship in certain situations.

When To Abandon Ship

Leaders need to be cognizant of when it’s appropriate to abandon a plan. A practice. Or a way of thinking.

When are those times?


  • A plan is leading your organization towards failure: Keep a keen eye on the direction the company is heading. Notice the small shifts. Lack of commitment from employees, disgruntled customers, poor sales. If a poor plan has caused the issues, be ready to abandon the plan and change course.
  • You’re asked to be unethical: Many people overlook the importance of living an ethical life in business. Sadly, this has caused the failure of many companies and people. Often ending in bankruptcy, the dissolution of a company, or the breakup of a marriage. When you’re faced with the choice of whether or not to go against your principles, you must choose your principles. It’s time to abandon ship if they push you otherwise.
  • You’re no longer effective: It’s easy to fall into the mindset that you NEED to stay in your position as a leader. Yet this has ruined many companies. When a leader stays too long in a position, it drags the company down. Great leaders know when it’s time to leave.

While you may feel there’s plenty of reasons to stay in your current position, there’s also plenty of reasons to abandon it. Decide whether or not that’s the case for your situation.

If it is, be ready to move on.

Question: Have you ever had to abandon a plan, a practice, or a way of thinking? How did the decision improve your life? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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