Succession Planning Conversations (Post 1)

Earlier this year I met with the leadership team of First Baptist Church in Somewhere, USA. A team was assembled to walk through the Succession Planning Workbook.

The pastor feels as though he will transition sometime in the next 3-4 years and wanted to take a proactive approach to their planning process.

We met for an initial Orientation session in late Spring. The team was assigned three specific tasks for homework.

1st – Identify the four areas they feel would be most disruptive once the transition process formally begins (they had a list of 23 areas to chose from)

2nd – Rank their preference for which process pathway to follow (there are three process pathways)

3rd – Prioritize how the pace by which they will begin addressing key areas of implementation

After 2-months, the team reassembled and walked through their results. During this meeting, we also discussed how to begin communicating with the broader congregation. The team decided to spend the summer conducting listening sessions with smaller groups of people. Feedback would be captured and then communicated to a broader group in special called congregational meetings. I coached one of their key lay leaders on how to structure the questions and schedule the meetings. In total, they met with 65 people in the listening sessions, which is approximately 20% of their average Sunday worship attendance. The broader congregational meetings were well represented.

As you can imagine, the listening sessions affirmed many incredible things about the church. They also provided a platform for a certain contingent of people that were waiting for their opportunity to complain. The process was grueling, but worth it. Here are some key takeaways from these meetings related to the specific homework the team was originally assigned (see above).

1st – The listening sessions affirmed the four key areas the team had originally identified as being significant barriers to continuity. They also identified a handful of other items that can easily be addressed.

2nd – The listening sessions caused the team to rethink their initial process pathway ranking. This was a positive thing. The feedback is also helping the pastor discern the best timing for his transition.

In a recent phone conversation, the pastor and I had an opportunity to review the process to this point. Here are a few of his comments that stood out.

“I was naïve about how difficult this was going to be”

“This process brought to light the secret conversations that would have otherwise taken place behind the scenes.”

“I would absolutely do this process again!”

“I have decided to spend the remainder of my time as our church’s intentional interim.”

“The church has done a great job in loving on my wife.”

“I have fallen in love with my church again.”

Succession planning is difficult, but worth it!

Initiating a clearly communicated process is critical to the overall success of the succession planning process.

The humility of an aging leader is demonstrated by their courage and care in the way they address organizational challenges and prepare the people for what’s next.

The pastor isn’t the only one transitioning. Their spouse must be considered!

This particular church still has a ways to go. No doubt, they will encounter more highs and lows along the way. Specifically, they have identified some difficult staffing issues to work through over the next 12-18 months. I don’t like to comment on the overall effectiveness of a transition this early in the process. There was one more comment from the pastor, however, that encourages me to think this process will be a great case study one day.

“My successor will step into a much healthier situation than it would have been if we had not committed to this process. I am committed to doing this well.”

I love serving pastors like this!!!

Would you like to know more about the process I am taking this church through? If so, you can email me at willheath@auxano.com.

Reflecting On Our First Pastoral Succession Bootcamp

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week (August 29/30 2017) Auxano conducted our first Pastoral Succession Bootcamp. Ministry teams from California, Michigan, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas registered to spend 2-days working through the Succession Planning Workbook with the goal of designing their church’s transition strategy.

The basic idea with the Bootcamp was to do for a group of churches over 2-days what I normally do 1-on-1 with a client over 8 hours. Each church that registered was allowed to bring up to five people. Here is a basic outline for the things we covered:

Day 1: Each team talked through four critical areas that can either protect or hinder organizational continuity in a season of pastoral transition.

Day 2: We talked through different ways leaders navigate transition and covered five critical areas to account for when developing the plan for implementation.

I have been working with the leaders at our host church, Fellowship Dallas, this summer on developing a communication plan and an onboarding strategy for their transition. Four of their leaders carved out time to hang out and participate in a panel Q&A.

I had a blast with these leaders. And, based on their feedback, they thought the experience was worth their time and money. We sent a follow-up survey to everyone in attendance. One of the questions we asked was, “Overall, what did you like best about the Boot Camp?” Here are a few of the responses.

The conceptual view of succession planning, including the different tools for assessment, made realize this is bigger than simply hiring someone to fill a role. – Buddy, Lay Leader in Alabama
The way the teaching material was well organized was very practical. The first day built a solid foundation and the second day’s practical application made so much sense. – Danny, Senior Pastor in Alabama
The two days were very productive. There was no filler, just need-to-know information. – Renee, Current Intentional Interim in Texas
I have tended to focus primarily on the church and the details of the change over. This helped me to see how to consider our pastor’s needs in the coming months. – Jera, Executive Director in Oklahoma
I think our denominational leaders need to go through this seminar. – Ryan, Staff Pastor in Michigan
Here are some pictures from the second day.
Panel Q&A – Listed left-to-right are with Joe Harn (Chairman of the Elders), Tommy Shelton (Executive Pastor), Gary Brandenburg (Lead Pastor), and Kurt Pressler (Successor).
PSB - panel - 2
PSB - panel - 1
At the tables working through the Succession Planning Workbook. At this point in the day we are working through the Five Essential Signposts.

PSB - table work - 5PSB - table work - 1

Here are a few pictures of me facilitating. Notice the use of flip charts. One of the participants commented that he appreciated the “low tech” nature of teaching the information. Using the flip charts throughout the day keeps the content visible throughout the process. This keeps all the information accessible so they can see how everything connects.
PSB - Will facilitating - 2PSB - flip charts - 2

Continuity and Clarity Are Key Factors to Healthy Leadership Transitions

One cannot underscore the impact organizational continuity and missional clarity have on the succession planning process. These two factors are among the top three to four issues that shape the overall health and effectiveness of a leadership transition.

To help you understand what organizational continuity is, let me offer a description of what it is not. Organizational continuity is not the same as maintaining the status quo. In fact, having a mindset that believes a ministry should maintain the status quo is often the biggest barrier to the establishment of organizational continuity.

The reality is that trusted leaders with a long tenure tend to mask a ministry’s need to address issues. This isn’t intentional, but over time, the leader becomes the glue that holds everything together. Their relational connection with staff, boards, elders, committees, major donors and members allows them to maneuver broken and confusing systems.  Consequently, no one ever takes the time or has the courage to evaluate the reality of the overall health of the ministry. To illustrate this point, I’ll offer two categories as examples: Governance and Staffing.

Governance

In reality, there are only two instances where people actually care what their by-laws and policies state. The first is when they are on the losing side of a key decision. The second is when it comes to selecting a new pastor. When these two issues come up, people turn to the governing documents to make sure everything is handled the “right way.”  The “right way” is usually spiritual speak for making sure things happen “their way.”

In my experience, very few ministries operate according to their by-laws. This exposes the ministry to considerable amounts of turmoil as there is no clearly stated methodology to evaluate and recommend options. It is in these environments that membership can become quickly divided on how to move forward. It is also in this environment that people stop investing in the ministry because there is no clear pathway forward.

Staffing

A topic that often comes up for larger churches during a pastoral transition has to do with the staff structure. Many of these churches had modest beginnings. The typical organizational structure was a hierarchical approach. As the ministry grew, staff was added and the hierarchy built out. The challenge with a hierarchical system, however, is that it has a tendency to foster a silo mentality and actually begins working against the church’s ability to effectively implement programming.

Business leaders have been aware of best practices related to organizational structure and design for decades. Church leaders, on the other hand, have little exposure to thinking in this area. It is not uncommon, however, for a pastor or ministry leader to intuitively recognize something is off with the way their staff is structured.  Without any real way to define and explain the problem, they develop various team strategies in an attempt to address the issue. Inserting a new leader with their own perspective for how a staff should be organized brings a high level of tension and uncertainty to the rest of the staff

People in leadership that equate organizational continuity with maintaining the status quo will not give themselves the time to do the work of evaluating these, and other key areas of institutional health. Even though there may be a sense that certain areas should be addressed, they prefer to simply stay put and let the new leader deal with it later.

The unfortunate reality is that the successor is often the first person that has a willingness, or ability, to look beyond the status quo to point out underlying deficiencies that must be addressed. It is in these moments, when the former leader is no longer in place to keep everything glued together, that cracks in the foundation become exposed. These moments are often difficult to navigate, for both the membership and successor. In many cases the new guy is the one held accountable for problems that existed long before he showed up.

Like organizational continuity, missional clarity is another key factor in the healthy implementation of a leadership transition strategy. Ministries, and the contexts in which they serve, change over time. Communities change. What was once the new development that brought young families and their children to the facility’s front door is now home to empty nesters. The neighborhood that was once Caucasian is now predominately minority. Church ministry facilities built in a rural context are now in the middle of the urban sprawl. Ministries once located in vibrant areas now watch as the neighboring buildings put vacancy signs in the front widow. Conversely, ministries that committed to stay in downtown settings are seeing a resurgence as more and more people flock to city centers. As communities change over time, so do the people that make up those congregations.

Ministries with long tenured leadership are wise to invest in a process that helps them recapture their sense of what makes their church unique. At Auxano, we see churches and ministries experiencing clarity when they are able to answer these five simple, yet profound, questions.

What are we doing?

Why are we doing it?

How are we doing it?

When are we successful?

Where is God taking us?

The process of discovering the answers to these questions brings incredible hope and courage to move forward.

Consider if you will, the implications of settling into the status quo and not capturing a sense of identity as you move towards a season of leadership transition.

I’m sure your imaginings won’t take you too far before you recall the story of a transition gone horribly wrong. Chances are, you can point to a lack of continuity and identity as a key source of trouble.

Some of you will have the good fortune of reflecting on a story of a transition that went incredibly well. As you recount that story in your mind, are you able to recognize the stability and conviction with which the ministry operated in their season of transition? Those are the by-products of leadership having the courage to push beyond the status quo and committing to the work of clarity.

If you would like to talk with someone about how Auxano can help your ministry prepare for a season of leadership transition, click HERE.

Succession Planning Is: A Springboard for Leadership

Dictionary.com defines the word “Springboard” as “something that supplies the impetus or conditions for a beginning, change, or progress; a point of departure.”

This translates well into the topic of leadership transitions.  Succession Planning is a process that “supplies impetus or conditions for a beginning, change, or progress; a point of departure”

Effective succession plans have four springboards built into the process.  Most leadership teams, however, only take time to build two.  Smart organizations, the ones paying attention and planning well, build all four.

Leadership Springboard 1: PROGRESS

This is the springboard built for the leader that is transitioning out.  Maybe “Progress” isn’t a word you would have chosen to associate with someone’s retirement.  But consider the difference between leaving something verses transitioning to something else.  Smart leaders not only understand this principle, they plan for it.  The process of succession planning, for the retiring leader, is the gateway to their next season of influence.  This is also true for leaders trying to navigate a mid-career change.  The healthy implementation of a transition plan actually increases a leader’s level of influence in their next season….it allows them to progress.

Leadership Springboard 2: BEGINNING

This leadership springboard has to do with the person stepping into the role of successor.  I find it interesting to see how new opportunities elevate a person’s leadership capacity.  It’s not that something mystical happens, but stepping into something new often allows a person to express their giftedness in ways they were not able to in a previous role.  In the same way a springboard launches a gymnast to heights they could not achieve on their own, a well planned transition strategy will increase the leadership capacity of the successor.

It is a reality, however, that not all successors succeed.  There are several reasons for this, but let me offer a word of caution in a specific area.  Don’t presume the successor has developed every skill needed for success in their new role.  No one is perfect.  We all have blind spots.  From the very beginning, build capacity for the successor to grow.  Organizations tend to assume (insert joke here!) that the new leader will have everything needed to move them forward.  Not necessarily.  Depending on the size and scope of responsibilities, it is anywhere from 6-9 months when their leadership deficiencies become exposed.  We’ve all seen it.  We even have a cute phrase to describe this phenomenon.  You can fill in the blank. “The _____________________________ period is over!”

There is no need to fall into this trap.  Build the successor a springboard to help them launch well.

Leadership Springboard 3: CHANGE

It’s rare to see a leadership transition that impacts only one person.  It is more common for a key leadership change to spark a series of other staffing changes.  The result is that additional opportunities are created for increased responsibility for other people within the organization.

Transitions create “opt-in” opportunities.

Be prepared for this by building springboards into your transition strategy that propel others within the existing organizational structure.  This is a unique opportunity to reward and promote talent from within.  Even if the springboard isn’t a full promotion, expanding the areas of responsibility for key people can be just as effective in affirming their contribution and building morale.

Leadership Springboard 4: A POINT OF DEPARTURE

Yes, Succession Planning is a springboard for Leadership, but not always within your organization.  The reality is that sometimes leadership transitions at the top levels of an organization lead to voluntary (or non-voluntary) departures at other levels.  Don’t be too quick to assume this is the response of an immature employee that lacks loyalty.  The transition of a key leader could very well be the specific circumstance God uses to spark a desire to transition for others.

Transitions create “opt-out” opportunities.

Don’t be caught off guard by this reality.  Instead, embrace it.  Not doing so comes across as small minded and defensive.  Instead, give yourself enough time to help your staff process where they are.  Have open and honest dialogue.  Invest in their career path and progression.  You are doing everything possible to springboard your retiring leader into their next season.  Carve out room to do the same for others as well.  Be proactive in in building springboards to help serve as healthy points of departure for everyone.

Let me close with this final thought – Nothing exposes leadership like a leadership transition.

Investing the time and energy to build each springboard is an important part of developing a holistic succession planning strategy.  But it goes deeper than that.  Being intentional about building all four springboards into your process is the ultimate litmus test for how effective you are as a leader.  Nothing exposes leadership like a leadership transition.

Succession Planning Is: A Shift In Stewardship

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what was planted –  Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 2, ESV

The farmer’s day-to-day activities look different from season to season.  Sure, some things are the same, but his changing priorities have a significant impact on how he manages his time from season to season.  The activities required to plant a field are very different than the things required to harvest it.  The various activities that demonstrate a farmer’s stewardship in one season are different than the activities that demonstrate his stewardship in the next.

This is easy to understand, right?  Let me ask you a question.  Would you consider the farmer to be a good steward if he plowed his field during a time of harvest?  Of course not.  Why?  Plowing the field is what you do to prepare the soil for seed.  Plowing at harvest would destroy the crop.  This isn’t stewardship, it’s stupidity.

Here’s the point.  A commitment to stewardship implies a willingness to allow the change in season to result in a change in activity.

To illustrate further, let’s take a look at how the Bible exposes us to two distinct aspects of time.  Kronos is measured time.  This is where we derive our modern word “chronology.”  The Bible expresses Kronos with references to hours, days, months, years, etc…  Kairos, on the other hand, is seasonal time.  Unlike Kronos, Kairos is not constrained to specific measurements.  Here is an example.

For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers…Acts 13:36, ESV

The “in his own generation” is a reference to the kairos in which God placed David in history.

One of my frustrations with the capital campaign industry in the church space over the past 30 years is that it has fostered a teaching of stewardship that predominately followed the categories of time, talent and treasure.  These are all Kronos expressions.  What has developed is a limited sensitivity and discernment for what stewardship actually is and how stewarding one’s kairos impacts their life.  To illustrate my point, ask someone at church to illustrate the topic of stewardship with a picture.  I’m willing to bet 80% would draw a dollar sign or some other representation of currency.

What does this have to do with succession planning?

Everything!

The Church in America is experiencing a seismic shift in leadership.  Pastors, by the thousands, are aging into a new season of influence.  They are about to enter their retirement years.  As with the farmer, the leaders that do not adjust their activity (Kronos) to the reality of their changing season (Kairos) will no longer demonstrate good stewardship.  Indeed, succession planning is one of the biggest stewardship challenges the Church in America will face over the next 5-7 years.

In the same way the capital campaign industry helped foster a narrow perspective on stewardship, the search industry is fostering a narrow perspective on leadership transitions.  As I wrote in the first post of this series, succession planning and replacement planning are not the same thing.  Trying to navigate a planned leadership transition through the lens of replacement planning is like using a dollar symbol to define stewardship.  Yes, it is part of the conversation, but there is so much more to discuss and account for.

We are at a time where pastors need to be like the men of Issachar; men who understand of their times and know what they ought to do. (1 Chronicles 12:32)

Or, to say it another way, we need pastors who are willing to allow the reality of their changing kairos to determine their kronos.  We need pastors to shift their stewardship.

 

 

Succession Planning Is Not Replacement Planning

Succession Planning and Replacement Planning are not the same thing.  Replacement planning (i.e. search or recruiting) is but one piece of the overall succession planning process.  Developing a holistic succession planning strategy takes into account a broader range of factors than what a search process is designed for.  To illustrate, here are four key questions an intentional succession plan helps leaders think through.

What leadership transition process makes the most sense for your situation?

There are three basic categories transitions tend to fall under.  We refer to each as the Stop-n-Go, Intentional Interim and Overlap.  Each is a valid option, but used for different reasons.  Knowing the pro’s and con’s for each will help you make an informed decision in selecting the option that best fits your unique situation.

The process selected will have a significant impact on the replacement planning strategy.  Some candidates prefer to step into a Stop-n-Go while others are looking for an Overlap.  The process you select will impact how you develop your candidate profile and influence how you promote the opportunity.

What are the “nuts and bolts” of developing a succession planning strategy?

There are five critical areas every succession planning strategy needs to account for.  Ministries that account for these areas, on purpose or  on accident tend to have healthier leadership transitions.  Ministries that fail to account for these five areas, on purpose or on accident, tend to struggle.  Developing a plan that addresses each area (we refer to them as Signposts) impacts the overall health and effectiveness of your transition.  Replacement Planning is only one of the five areas.

There is a real temptation for organizations to jump prematurely to the Replacement Planning aspect of succession planning and neglect the other four areas.  Failure to account for all five Signposts is one of two critical issues related to poor transitions.  The second issue is tied to an organizations failure to think critically about the implications of the next question.

How prepared are we, from an organizational structure standpoint, to navigate a season of leadership transition?

It’s not uncommon for things that have no direct correlation to the succession planning strategy itself to become the thing that causes significant disruption.  For example, a lack of documentation in your governing documents can become the basis for confusion and possible division.  With appropriate planning there is no need to allow this, or other areas like it, to become a stumbling block.

How do we prepare and lead people through a season of significant leadership transition?

At its core, succession planning is about preparing the people impacted by the transition for what to expect.  Having an intentional strategy won’t alleviate every challenge, but will go a long way in helping those involved feel comfortable enough to invest in the process.  Investing in the development and implementation of a holistic succession planning strategy is one of the best ways to keep people engaged in the process and fight the tendency of taking a “wait and see” attitude.

It is hard to imagine how effective a replacement planning strategy can be without accounting for the questions listed above.  The answers to these questions, and others, have a profound impact on the function of a search team and/or search firm, the unique candidate profile that is developed and how the position is promoted.  The planning that comes from the broader succession conversation also informs the way a new leader is on-boarded into their role and shapes the way the transition is communicated to the broader organization.

If you are facing the reality of a leadership transition let me encourage you to start with the broader issue of succession planning and work from there.  You will have a more effective search process if you do.

In total, this series is three posts long.

Post 1 – Succession Planning Is Not Replacement Planning

Post 2 – Succession Planning Is a Shift In Stewardship

Post 3 – Succession Planning Is a Springboard for Leadership

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You can also follow me on Twitter @willardheath

Click HERE to learn more about how we can help your team address the broader issue of succession planning.

Book Spotlight : Transition Plan – Chapter 5, Life After Retirement

Of the five chapters in Bob Russell’s book Transition Plan we have highlighted this week, this is my favorite.  Bob is a living example of the following principle:

Succession Planning isn’t the last great thing a leader does.  Succession Planning is the gateway to a leader’s greatest season of influence.

Bob is no longer pastoring one of the largest churches in America, but one could make the argument that he is exponentially more influential.  He has encouraged and challenged hundreds, if not thousands, of leaders in both secular and sacred organizations to have the humility and courage to transition well.

Chapter 5, Life After Retirement…

It’s been my observation that the people who plan to retire so they can fish, golf, travel and/or relax are either dead, back to work or become a pain in the neck to their former employer and family within two years. – page 90

I’m enjoying retirement because there is so much to do!  I have really had to scramble to find time to write this book.  But each morning when I get up I have something productive to look forward to.  Every project is in the area of my passion and giftedness. – page 92

Two years after I retired, I was speaking at a civic function.  A local judge seated on the platform, whom I never had met, said, “Bob, I admire what you did at Southeast; but I admire you more for how you left.” – page 94

Retirement is a great opportunity to demonstrate that your self worth is found in your relationship with Jesus, not your self-importance. – page 94

Once you make the decision to take a step as serious as transitioning your leadership position to someone else, you need to throw everything you are into the process. – page 95

Look for every opportunity to not only build up your successor, but also help pave his way. – page 96

The time between the initiation of a transition plan and its execution is fraught with potential pitfalls.  Leaders on their way out, if they aren’t careful, can throw their weight around needlessly to show they are still in charge. – page 97

On pages 100 to 104, Bob gives personal and profound insight into the following question.

Do I believe what I say I believe?

This, in my opinion, is one of the most important sections of Chapter 5 and possibly the entire book.  In his humble, yet direct style, Bob speaks to the one of the most significant issues leaders face as they move to their season of transition – their mortality.

In case you missed them, here are the links for each of the four other posts in this series:

Chapter 1, My Story

Chapter 2, Why Transitions?

Chapter 3, Lessons From Experience, Observation and Research

Chapter 4, Saying Goodbye

Chapter 5, Life After Retirement

I can not recommend this book more highly.  If you are a Pastor, Elder, Board Member, Deacon or serve on some type of transition committee this will be one of the most encouraging and insightful books you can read on the topic of succession planning.  Click HERE to purchase your copy.

And be sure to check back in next week.  Monday’s post is titled “Succession Planning and Replacement Planning Are Not The Same Thing.”

Book Spotlight : Transition Plan – Chapter 4, Saying Goodbye

In case you are just now joining us, I have spent this week highlighting various excerpts from Bob Russell’s book Transition Plan.

Here are links to the previous three posts:

Chapter 1, My Story

Chapter 2, Why Transitions?

Chapter 3, Lessons From Experience, Observation and Research

In his fourth chapter, Bob talks about some of the highlights of how he said “goodbye” to Southeast Christian Church.  The grace and humility with which he left was truly inspiring.

Chapter 4, Saying Goodbye…

Someone compared a ministry transition to conducting a wedding and a funeral at the same time. – page 75

Only when the itch to pay respect and say goodbye is itched will the congregation be ready to move on. – page 76

In the end, probably not one word of what Dave and I said at the transition service will be remembered, but that baton and all it stands for will be remembered for years to come. – page 79

There comes a time to close a chapter.  You can go back and review it and enjoy it, but don’t make the mistake of trying to live in yesterday’s chapter. – page 83.  A quote from Dr. Lewis Foster

The way you say goodbye matters.  Bob’s comments on celebrating the new leader are important principles to account for in your process.

Check back tomorrow for my post on Chapter 5, or better yet, become a subscriber (top right of the page) so my blog posts will be emailed directly to you.

Click HERE to buy a copy of Transition Plan.

Follow me on Twitter @willardheath.

Book Spotlight : Transition Plan – Chapter 3, Lessons from Experience, Observation and Research

The thing I appreciate most about this specific chapter is Bob’s willingness to reflect on practical things that could have been done better to help Dave Stone’s transition into the Senior Pastor role go more smoothly.  You will be hard pressed to a more practical list of insights on the topic of succession planning than in this chapter.

Chapter 3, Lessons from Experience, Observation and Research

God can bless a variety of transitions, but an intentional plan has the best chance for success. – page 57

The character of the persons involved in the transitions much more important than the timing or the strategy. – page 58

Just as locks keep honest people honest, a good transition plan with clear lines of authority and a definite time frame helps avoid conflicts and uncertainty. – page 60

Two years of mentoring and transitioning seems an adequate amount of time. – page 61

The departing leaders should be the initiator of the transition plan, and not the organization. – page 62

The organization should begin early to develop a generous compensation package. – page 63

The successor should share the same values, but not necessarily the same leadership style or temperament. – page 66

A wise successor will practice patience and restraint in implementing changes. – page 67

On pages 65 and 66, Bob spotlights seven insightful questions to consider as your Board or Elders think through developing a retirement package.  It would be a good idea for your leadership and finance teams to consider these as part of the process of developing your transition plan.

If you have not already done so, I would highly recommend you purchase a copy of this book for yourself and your leadership team.

Click HERE to purchase your copy today.

Tomorrow we will be highlighting excerpts from Chapter 4, Saying Goodbye…

In the meantime, follow me on Twitter @willardheath

Book Spotlight : Transition Plan – Chapter 2, Why Transitions?

In the first chapter of Transition Plan, Bob gives us a behind the scenes look at the circumstances that lead to his developing a succession plan at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY.  In chapter two, he begins to unpack the broader issue of why developing a transition plan is so important.

Here are some specific highlights from the chapter.

Chapter 2, Why Transitions?

There are five obvious reasons why every leader needs to think about transitioning. – page 42

The first is that we are all going to die. – page 42

The second reason leaders need to consider transitioning is that we lose energy and imagination as we age. – page 42

The third reason transitions are essential – older leaders almost always lose the ability to inspire younger people. – page 43

There’s a fourth reason for transitioning.  When a proper transition is made, the one stepping aside has another chapter of meaningful life to live and is respected in that role. – page 44

The final and most important reason for transitioning is for the good of the organization. – page 45

The ability/inability to pass the baton successfully determines the ongoing success of the organization and the leader’s legacy. – page 48

The five years I spent with the Elder Board carefully planning and executing the transition process were some of the most important years of my ministry. – page 53

On pages 46 and 47, Bob uses the illustration of a relay race to pull out six powerful principles.  These six ideas alone are worth the price of the book.  You can purchase a copy HERE.

You can also follow along @willardheath