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.”