I was almost a 10 year old. We had no television in our home at the time. Growing up in a rural farm community of Oregon, I had no idea that history was being made on August 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Across the country that day, Martin Luther King, Jr., was leaving a memorable mark on the civil rights timeline of the United Stages. The imagination of civil rights activists and sympathizers, was captured with the leading line of the entire last half of Dr. King’s speech—“I have a dream…” As this Southern black church pulpit-groomed orator articulated his vision with line after line of “I have a dream…,” the torch of change and transformation lit the hearts of the masses in America. This is the month we will set aside an entire day to remember the progress of Dr. King’s dream and to recommit ourselves to fight for the parts of the dream not yet realized.
In a whole different vein of thought, I also have a dream. I have a dream that leaders will one day see that a pivotal part of their leadership responsibility is to prepare the organization they lead for success after they are no longer in the lead role. I have a dream that it would become the norm for church and ministry leaders to develop and implement leadership succession plans. I have a dream that businesses would intentionally prepare next generation leaders to go further and higher than the current leaders. I have a dream that ministry and business leaders would become passionate about developing themselves as “Level 5” leaders (the topic of a future blog post)—caring less about their own short-term success than they do for the long-term success of their organization. I have a dream.
This blog and website is fueled by the dream that started growing in me nearly fifteen years ago. As an entrepreneurial ministry leader, my primary calling was to start and grow a church. I carried out my call. By the normal measurables of church plants, I was a success. But I changed the rules. What if my biggest measurement of success was my ability to equip and prepare the future young leaders and the organization for a succession plan? What if the new measurement of success was based on the organization’s numbers still going up and to the right five years after I was no longer in the lead seat?
Now it is nearly nine years since the first succession was implemented. Two more successions have been navigated successfully. I’ve consulted with leaders of other organizations during their succession process. I’m now even more convinced that my dream can become reality. So stay tuned to this blog along the way for practical and thought-provoking successful succession inspiration! And to make sure you don’t miss a future blog post, subscribe via email right here on this website.