German Chancellor Angela Merkel's farewell to power late last week was a rare example of a great leader leaving with dignity.
Merkel made a cheerful Covid-era fist-bump with her successor Olaf Scholz and a couple of quick waves before walking to a car and being driven away,
She organised her own retirement before others - politicians, the public - did it for her.
A good ending allows people to see the good and problematic of what's been achieved in a calm, even positive, atmosphere - rather than one rent with rancor.
The unconquered pandemic has been a tough, exhausting final act to navigate with no satisfying resolution. It is likely to be a factor in the fates of other incumbent leaders.
The continuing trudge into the unknown with Covid-19, despite definite progress in the health response to the coronavirus, is taking a toll on the standing of some.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in serious political trouble after becoming entwined in the tinsel of hypocrisy over revelations of a Christmas party at his official residence of No 10 Downing Street a year ago.
The party on December 18, 2020 went against local restrictions, the Government's guidelines, and his own messages to the public at the time. Since the story was first broken by the Daily Mirror two weeks ago, there have been further reports of social events at other government buildings and at Conservative Party headquarters at the end of last year.
On Sunday the Mirror reported that Johnson himself took part in a quiz social event in No 10 against Tier 2 rules three days earlier on December 15, 2020.
The next day, Johnson had told the country - as London went into Tier 3 rules and banned all Christmas party social gatherings - that "this Christmas it's vital that everyone exercises the greatest possible personal responsibility". Two days later, on the day of the party, Johnson tweeted that it was vital that people minimised contact with those outside their household "Christmas bubble".
The BBC reports that there's no suggestion Johnson was personally at the December 18 party which involved "drinks, nibbles and games". The day afterwards Johnson told millions watching a TV briefing "it is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you that we cannot continue with Christmas as planned".
Government spokespeople first said the party followed Covid rules and then denied it had taken place. Now a report on it has been called for.
The damage here is that the pandemic sacrifice of people not being able to do what they'd like to has affected everyone; Britain is going through Covid winter blues again, and this political scandal follows quite a few of them for Johnson and the Conservatives.
After appearing to shrug off damaging claims in the past, Johnson's favourability ratings have declined and the Conservatives have lost their poll lead over the opposition Labour Party - now six to eight points ahead.
A new election is not due until mid-2024, but suddenly Johnson appears to be floundering as he was for much of the pandemic in 2020, until the vaccination rollout steadied his ship.
More than two years would give an alternative option plenty of time to establish him or herself. This is the calculation National has made here in switching leaders.
Unless the situation soon improves, Johnson may not have the chance of leaving on his own terms.