The perfect time to leave the company rarely presents itself. At a leadership level, “rarely” becomes an understatement.

Leaving the company that you fostered, led or built is not likely to be easy. However, your choices can reduce the amount of risk and labor involved in the process.

Review your choices

If you have not done so already, you may want to review your exit options against your timeline. Charting things out in this way could reveal some unexpected information.

For example, imagine you wanted to leave as soon as possible. Taking immediate action might lead to a contested exit, prolonging your departure. Reserving action — even for a significant amount of time — might help you generate an opportunity for a quicker resolution. It all depends on the situation.

Consider your contract

Your business formation documents probably have something to say about partners leaving the organization. Is there something in there that you can use to your advantage?

Prepare for conflict

Unfortunately, some personality types tend to gravitate toward conflict. If you have one of these types in your partnership, it is usually a good idea to consider that in your strategy. Going to court is usually more than an outside possibility in these cases.

Stay involved

An advantageous exit at the leadership level usually does not happen by itself. That is especially true with certain types of businesses, such as capital-rich tech startups — these tend to be heavy on brain power and light on organizational safeguards. You may have to maintain a hands-on approach in order to preserve your future as a leader.

You are not stuck in your partnership. There is a way out — just make sure you are headed in the right direction after you leave.