Friday, 1 November 2019

Resigning in Style

There used to be a US website that is called (yes, yes, I know - only in America).

Anyway, on this site there were a selection of resignation letters dating from 1900 through to 1998, including transcriptions of resignation speeches, from Heads of State, politicos and other famous people. While there are a lot of Americans in the list, there are a few inclusions that surprised me, such as Winston Churchill and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Alas, the site has now vanished, but some of the resignation letters live on elsewhere on the web. Winston Churchill's resignation can be seen here; and Richard Nixon's here; and how the only British Monarch to ever abdicate has done it here...

It is worth thinking about the extreme brevity with which Richard Nixon resigned; the emotional rationale with which Edward VIII - David Windsor - resigned; and the workmanlike future-focus with which Winston Churchill resigned. Once we read what others have done, it seems obvious that we too should have a think about the legacy that we want to leave when we next resign a post.

What we leave behind is definitely worth considering: we never know, we may become famous for it... and being gracious is better than being infamous.


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