Collaborative Leadership Blog

Executive Transition Planning

The executive workforce is aging out, with tens of thousands of baby boomers retiring from corporations over the next 5-10 years. Many, if not most of those executives will not have a transition plan as they depart, and will face a range of reactions and impacts, from uncertainty and loss to health, family/marriage, and other challenges as they try to redefine themselves. Often the consequences and impacts can be severe. I worked with an executive at DuPont who, after giving 35 years of his life to the company, died 3 years after his retirement–he did have the support, the plan, nor the opportunity to redefine himself and his new life.


Most companies do not typically include transition planning as part of the retirement benefits program. Companies have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their senior executives over their career, as they developed them from their early to high potential, to executive status. In return, the executives have produced millions of dollars for their employers, innovated, managed thousands of employees, increased productivity, and helped grow their enterprises. They built extensive intellectual capital that will go untapped without some structured way to help the executive redefine themselves so they can continue to add value to society. The reciprocity and mutuality of this often long term relationship needs a proper ending, providing the departing executive the opportunity to develop their tailored transition plan.


The Marshall Group’s goal is to help ensure that retiring executives have a successful transition to the next phase of their lives through our Executive Transition Planning(sm) service. This process begins 9-12 months before the leader is to retire, and is part of their retirement package and planning. It is a 1:1 executive coaching process with a certified coach that provides a tailored approach to each individual’s post-retirement needs, and focuses not only on any additional professional goals, but also their health and well-being, family, and social life.


The benefit for the executive is they leave the company prepared for the next phase of their lives. For the company, there is a complete and proper transition of a senior leader whose contributions and service are honored.