“The best leaders mentor and pass the baton to worthy successors”MOTA
No leader should regard themselves as successful until they have identified and empowered those who will take over from them. This is critical because no single leader is guaranteed to exist forever in a role.
Equally so, organisations should not go down just because the leader or the founder is no more. Wise founders create legacies that extend into future generations by building something that will outlast them.
One case in point is Myles Munroe who said that “The great act of leadership is what happens in your absence. If everything you have done died with you, you are a failure. True leadership is measured by what happens when you die”.
The continued existence of Munroe International would not have been possible had the late Myles Munroe not taken the time to mentor and prepare his children for the roles they play in carrying forward the legacy he and his wife had started.
The same can be said about the continued existence of Ziglar Inc. After the passing of Zig Ziglar in 2012, his son, Tom Ziglar who was nurtured since 1987 in various portfolios until he moved into leadership is today the CEO of Ziglar Inc.
These two examples are indicative of visionary leadership and demonstration of a principle that through mentoring and focused development, that the organisations can flourish in the absence of the founders.
Many organisations fail in this regard to develop leaders and critical skills at various levels to take over from the existing cohort and propel the organisation into the future.
In his article Ending the CEO Succession Crisis, Ram Charan writes about the failure of organisations to develop a pool of candidates when he says:
“That deficiency is simply inexcusable. A CEO or board that has been in place for six or seven years and has not yet provided a pool of qualified candidates, and a robust process for selecting the next leader, is a failure”
In many organisations, this is not only the failure of the CEO or the board.
The process may differ in approach and intensity for various employee cohort, however, at every level, leaders have the obligation and the responsibility to empower others to do their work.
This empowerment comes by putting in place an ongoing process of identifying and developing people who are ready to move into the next roles.
Because organisations are people and not buildings, it is wise to invest in your people. Find someone whom you could nurture and pass the baton to. Without investing in your people as a leader, the organisation that you lead will not survive.
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Tex Hlalele is a Life & Business Coach, Consultant, Speaker and Author of the book Face the person in the mirror. Book Tex for coaching and speaking engagements to help you and your team gain insights and possibilities for individual learning and organizational advancement. Get in touch by sending an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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