Transitions happen! Some parts we might be able to plan. Some we cannot. We can, however, raise the level of our preparation and thoroughness to face transitions rather than have them traumatize us more than they need to.
A key part of leading in one's Third Turn of Executive Leadership is how a leader's transition is managed. Transition is managed on both sides of the shift -- the one who will step away and the one who will step in. Both bear responsibility for transition success. So do any board or key staff members. Sometimes it is wise to plan for a gap, an interim, in-between leaders. A strategic interim can help to prepare the way for new leadership, especially when led by an experienced executive who is not angling for the job, and who understands their role is to help open up an organization's embrace of new leadership.
I recently gathered three of my colleagues for a recorded conversation on leading strategically in interim time. We've brought interim leadership to a variety of organizations as a leader stepped away and before the next leader was identified. Many of our experiences managed the complexity of interim time in congregations. We can attest to the fact that few organizations have a higher order of complexity for managing transitions than do local churches! Whatever sort of organization you lead, you are likely to find multiple takeaways for your future leadership succession planning from among the nine we share here.
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