Elijah said to Elisha, “‘Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken from you?’ ‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’” Elisha replied—2 Kings 2:9.
Succession planning is an opportunity to steward well a founder’s lifetime of work, developing an organization’s ongoing effectiveness. Like death, steps of succession do not solicit ongoing conversation, unless a process is in place to implement a prayerful plan. Important questions are, “How can the founder show good faith that they hold the enterprise with an open hand?” “Should the founder be compensated after they transition out of their executive role?” “How will the board stay engaged in the succession planning process?” Yes, succession matters.
Founders who hold an open hand trust the Lord as the owner of the organization. Hence, he or she is not necessary to carry on a Christ-centered culture. Lord willing, He will sustain the work in His way. Mature leaders also place their security and identity in Jesus, not in their jobs. They understand their ultimate value is not measured by what they do, but by who they are. Leaders who are secure in the Lord, see globally how God brings in those best for the organization’s health.
“To Titus, my true son in our common faith”—(Titus 1:4).
Who are you raising up to take the team to the next level? Are you intentional in your prayers for the profile of the person to take your place? We are not objective enough in our discernment to pick the most effective successor without the input of other wise advisors. Thus, we submit to the wisdom and accountability of the board to bring about the best outcome. Succession done well can gel the team and infuse excitement in anticipation of God’s choice. It is a journey of faith.
Therefore, all in charge wisely look to Christ for His choice. Perhaps the requirement is to compare and contrast three excellent candidates. We learn a lot when we compare the strengths and weaknesses of very competent people. Moreover, it may be a worthy strategy to watch potential successors over the course of a year of work within the organization. Assign them to various departments and then assess their skills and abilities to work with the team. Also, take a prospective successor and their spouse to dinner. Observe how they treat their sweetheart and the server. Their attitude in an informal environment is an indicator of their real self. Most of all, look to the Spirit to confirm His person. His peace is preeminent in pronouncing the next leader!
“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord”—(Proverbs 21:30).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me in leading our team through a process of discovering Your choice to take us into the future.
Related Readings: Genesis 41:37-40; Job 41:1-2; Ephesians 1:11; Philemon 1:20-25