HR Insights, HR Management

Thank You, Steven Tyler: How to Know When It’s Time For You to Go

Steven-Tyler

Rocker Steven Tyler announced last week that he is leaving American Idol after two years.

His press release said, “I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress American Idol before she boils my rabbit. I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back — but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I’ve got two fists in the air and I’m kicking the door open with my band.”

Clearly, having your rabbit boiled is a bad thing and to be avoided.

While we don’t know the details of the contract negotiations, he is exiting after benefiting greatly from being on American Idol, still one of the top rated shows on television in spite of some recent declines.

Leaving before his time

His two-year stint as the naughty rock star clearly gave him a big career boost, and, a broader audience. If his goals were to elevate his career, keep his music relevant to younger generations, and build the interest for an upcoming Aerosmith world tour – he can check those boxes. And, his personality added some fun and unpredictability to a familiar format.  No rabbit even came close to being boiled.

Tyler is leaving at the top of his game. He wasn’t a perfect fit for American Idol, but he made it better by not losing himself. He took a big risk by trying something new with high risk and reward, and some hard-core Aerosmith fans wondered what he was doing there.

Yet, he left Idol fans a little disappointed that he’s going so soon. There’s probably a lesson in that for all of us.

When we have achieved our goals in our current job or company, it’s time to ask the question if it’s time to go.

What to ask if you think you should go

Here are a few questions to consider when making these decisions:

  • Have I reached my goals here?
  • How will my future here contrast with what I’ve already done?
  • Does my success here help me do something else I want to do more than carrying on in this situation?
  • What’s keeping me here?
  • Am I still growing and learning?

I think Steven Tyler’s example is to make changes toward our goals at times of success, not when you are on your back foot and the options are few.

And, that success is no reason to stop pushing for the dream.

Follow Steven’s lead and Dream On before your rabbit is boiled.

This was originally published on PeopleResult’s Current blog.

Patti Johnson is the CEO of PeopleResults, a consultancy that guides organizations and individuals to “start the wave” of change. Patti and her team have advised major clients including PepsiCo, McKesson, Microsoft, Frito-Lay, Hitachi Consulting and many others on how to realize results through people. Previously a senior executive at Accenture, Patti is an instructor for SMU’s Executive Education and a keynote speaker on Leading Change. She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and is a regular contributor to SUCCESS magazine and Fox Good Day. Contact her at pjohnson@people-results.com.
  • http://twitter.com/MartaSteele Marta Steele

    What great questions to ask! 
    I find many people know it’s time to go but aren’t sure what to do next. Or they fear what’s next may not be as good as the status quo. 

    • Patti Johnson

      Exactly! Thanks, Marta.

  • Martha Duesterhoft

    Who knew Steven Tyler’s experience could translate into career advice?  Thanks for making the connection for us Patti!

    • Patti Johnson

      Yes, never thought of Steven as a career mentor – but seriously. Sometimes it’s time to go after you have accomplished your goals and you have other plans. Thanks, Martha.

  • http://twitter.com/juliedporter01 Julie Porter

    Great nuggets of wisdom here as usual Patti. I always learn from your posts. (Very sad about JLo though …)

    • Patti Johnson

      True! You never know about JLo – both of them got big career boosts from being on that show. Thanks for the comments, Julie