The Third Turn

Written by Dr. Mark L. Vincent & Kristin Evenson
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Episode 22: 4 x 400

Posted by Kristin Evenson on Jun 8, 2021 8:00:00 AM
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4 x 400
Episode #22 of the Third Turn Podcast.

This episode, titled after a relay race, is actually more akin to a volleyball match! But instead of passing batons or spiking balls, co-host Mark L. Vincent and I are alternating as we share concepts and metaphors that we believe help bring the three turns of leadership to life.

Mark and I both have a good competitive spirit, so the back and forth was certainly fun. But even more meaningful was the opportunity to bring this concept of Third Turn leadership to life with a variety of fun and illustrative reference points like:

  • Yes, the 4 x 400 relay - This concept inspired this “Missing the Handoff” blog post and we unpack it in athletic detail here--starting out of the blocks fast and strong, running for the team, and navigating the all-important handoff on the back straight-away. There’s surprising art and precision involved in this team sport, and helpful principles that extend to the “team sport” of succession strategy. Here too is a fun “Passing the Baton for Beginners” video tutorial for additional insights.
  • Musical masters - The maestro orchestral conductor obviously inspired the concept of Maestro-level leaders, and composer Beethoven and his composition “Ode to Joy” are another inspiring example: Beethoven composed this masterpiece late in life and in significant physical decline; by the time he debuted the piece in 1824 he was profoundly deaf and unaware of the audience’s resounding response. Watch this moving 2019 Sydney Opera House performance by maestro conductor, orchestra, and chorus.
  • Real-life leadership examples - Third Turn stories of Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson Companies and Jim Dow who led Diversified Plastics.
  • Scriptural characters and concepts - Daniel continued to serve and carry out what he understood to be his vocation whether as a prisoner of war, leading to accolades, or cast aside; while many characters in scripture and wisdom literature demonstrate a new kind of fruitfulness in their later life “third turn”, and others demonstrate an ability to see and nurture the sacred future that will extend beyond their own leadership and life.

In a leadership landscape that tends to highlight learning and leading (and then, most often, simply leaving), there are actually rich, multi-dimensional Third Turn examples all around us, and the opportunity to help cast a longer and more wholistic leadership view is obviously a passion and purpose that Mark and I have given ourselves to. What if leading toward legacy and future value took their rightful place, and more leaders aspired to a new forms of contribution and impact? And even more importantly, how might the world benefit from leaders who run a long, strong race with a graceful handoff, future value, and their grandchildren’s grandchildren in full view?

In this episode Mark and I also share with each other some podcasts and resources we’re each finding meaningful:

Plus, check out this new podcast and blog entitled “Leadership Meets Life”, courtesy of Design Group International colleague, Phil Bergey.


Kristin Evenson
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- Kristin


With each episode of the Third Turn Podcast we host a conversation among leaders who want the world to flourish for generations beyond their lifetimes.

Listening with others in some way and enjoying in-depth conversations of your own as you reflect and choose what you would do the same or differently is a plus!

We always welcome you sharing these podcasts with others as well as sending along any suggestions for making these podcasts better.

The Third Turn Podcast is part of the Maestro-level leaders initiative, a production of Design Group International. Strategically Connected's Jennifer Miller is the producer.


Discover more about The Third Turn Podcast:
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Topics: Design Group International, Ownership, leadership legacy, Transforming Influence, Maestro-level Leaders, The Third Turn, Maestro, Future Value, Future Generation, leadership culture, learning, leading, leaving

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