The past week brought a touching end to my time facilitating a Convene CEO peer-based advising team in Eastern Wisconsin (now ably led by Dennis Humphrey) , so that I can more fully focus on the effort we've created in Maestro-level leaders. The team I led provided a video tribute that made my eyes leak, a video they indicate will show up on my social media page at some point.
Of the things the team members noted was a favorite question of mine: "What do we have here?" I like the question because it invites the leader to listen alongside me.
Listening to their market.
Listening to their organization's capacity.
And, for the leader moving into their Third Turn, listening for possibilities that will build Future Value. Building has a creating element, and part of a Third Turn Leader's responsibility is looking to create for others rather than accumulate for ourselves at others' expense. It's about creating, not wasting.
As we develop Maestro-level leaders, I'm asking what it is we have here. Were it just a list of things, we could say:
- The learning cohort for Maestro-level leaders launching at the end of next month.
- The growing audience for the Third Turn Podcast.
- The ongoing and evergreen resource created with this blog.
That is not what this question is for, however. The listening needs to happen at the deepest possible level if future value is involved. What do we have here should be asked with mission fulfillment front and center, with one's heart out and beating in one's hand, with one's soul involved.
Rather than tell you, the reader, the appalling percentage of businesses that fail or flounder when a founding or long-term CEO moves into their Third Turn, I'd rather you look it up so it lands deep in your memory banks. It is astounding. So much knowledge is lost. So much value is diminished. So many meaningful jobs disappear. So many people are set vocationally adrift. There is simply an uncountable level of waste.
What do we have here? We have an opportunity to provide resource to Third Turn leaders as they claim the responsibility of stewarding the organization to future value, succession, and legacy. They can make their decisions in light of long-term effects, most especially with their grandchildren's grandchildren in mind. We can reduce this terrible waste that is so often bred in ego battles, and we can expect ourselves to point to what has been created for others rather than what we accumulated for ourselves at others' expense.
P.S. I am so pleased that Kristin Evenson agreed to join me as a host on the Third Turn Podcast. We interviewed her in Episode 3 as she talked about her expertise in brain-based coaching, especially with executives facing significant change. We will hear her again as a guest-host in an upcoming episode as she interviews, Lon Swartzentruber, my successor as the CEO for Design Group International. I look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration.