For those of you who are history buffs, Ronin was the term used to describe a samurai with no lord or master. There was essentially no leader for them to follow.

Recently, the chairperson of the board I sit on resigned. He is moving on to bigger and better things in the local political party. I wish him all the best on his future endeavors. The problem is he was one of those charismatic leaders that got things done. His leadership unified the board. His absence now leaves a vacuum that might be difficult to fill with someone of equal quality. The board is now in limbo about its direction.

So what happens when an executive (CEO, COO, President, or CIO) resigns? Obviously, there will be anxiety and feelings of betrayal and uncertainty from everyone. This is normal and human nature. Remaining executives should take the time to talk to their staff and each other. It is best to have open discussions even when you do not have all the answers.

Remember this is a time of change and change can bring both opportunities and threats. How you take advantage of the opportunities and mitigate threats will decide if your firm will be successful or not during this transition.

According to the Bushido Code, a samurai with no leader  was supposed to commit oibara seppuka upon the loss of his master. I am glad times have changed…