Thursday, January 12, 2012

Who's Next?

We live in a world that always begs the question… What's Next?  The next task on the To Do list.  The next date on the calendar.  The next project to tackle.  We constantly feel the pressure of "What's Next".  Perhaps we get so caught up in thinking about what is next that we lose sight of an all important question that every leader faces at some point… Who's Next?

When another offer comes and God leads you elsewhere, who is next in line?  When the unthinkable happens and you are no longer able to lead, who will inspire those you lead toward the vision?  Not every organization allows their leader to decide who sits in their chair next, but every leader is responsible to equip heirs to the vision and mission.  Leading requires thinking beyond yourself; that includes your timeline.  You will not always occupy the leadership role you are in today.  Who's Next?  

Sustainable leadership toward real results often takes generations of leaders who have poured into the lives of others.  For this reason, leaders need a plan in place to develop, empower, and hand-off to other capable individuals.

So how do you identify "Who's Next"?

Look for Potential.  There are people around you even now that have incredible potential.  Start helping them unleash that potential toward performance.  Look for opportunities not only to teach them, but to give them practical experience.

Who is Already Doing It? There are usually others that are doing a lot of what you do to a lesser extent.  With or without the title, these are the kind of people who are going to get the job done.  These are capable people.  Start plugging them into your hand-off plan.

Help Them Soar.  Let them into your world.  Show them what you do and how you do it.  Give them the distinct advantage of being eye-witnesses of the process.  Once they have seen it, let them do some of it for themselves.  Help them learn and support them when the going gets tough.  Continual development is a must here.  It will take time, investment, and a great deal of patience.  Then, when they are ready help them soar.

Cut Your Losses. Sometimes the heir we choose turns out to be somewhat of a disaster.  When this is the case, you could spend your energy and reputation trying to right a sinking ship or you could begin looking for a better "next-in-line".  Opt for looking for someone else having learned the difficult lesson of choosing someone who couldn't cut it.  It sounds harsh, but often you and the person that you are cutting loose end up being relieved that the pressure is off.

We owe it to leave the people we leave with options once we move on.  Begin thinking and dreaming of "Who's Next". They may be the one to take that which you led further than you ever dreamed possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment