Finishing Well & Phobic Fears
Episode #65 of the Third Turn Podcast with Steve Woodworth
Our guest Steve Woodworth—CEO of Masterworks—is deeply committed to finishing well, after 30 years of examples he’s seen and things he’s studied.
Steve has seen far more and far too many leadership transitions gone wrong. Leaders whose transitions blew up their legacy. Some whose organizations ultimately went out of business. Other leaders who have turned against the organization they spent their life building.
Steve’s seen some things and he’s studied. He quotes research by Bobby Clinton, a former professor of leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary, which found that roughly 2/3 of leaders don’t finish well—a sad stat Clinton saw mirrored among leaders in scripture as well.
All this has prompted Steve to get very practical about the landmines and temptations, and how to navigate them:
- The rampant assumptions people bring to the table around leadership transition
- Historical and increasingly artificial constructs around age
- Lack of open communication
- Conventional wisdom of “find your successor and get out of the way”
- Phobic fears that naturally arise as a longstanding leader peers into the mist of a future they can’t yet clearly see.
Now walking alongside his own successor in leading the organization, Steve shares with us very honestly and personally about his own experience of these things—right in the throes of it all. Rare are such rich opportunities.
So Steve’s seen, studied, and is now stewarding his own transition, as well as writing a book to help serve other leaders and organizations. Seeing, studying, stewarding, and serving others that follow—a deep commitment to and beautiful example of what it looks like to finish well.
Steve is reading two books he’s enjoying:
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Tags:leaders, The Third Turn, The Third Turn Podcast, Third Turn Blog, Transition, Succession, successor
February 14, 2023