On the heels of yesterday’s post about Apple’s attention to detail, came the historic business news that Steve Jobs had resigned as Apple’s CEO in a letter to his Board.
Certainly, Jobs’ hand on the helm did more for Apple than most companies could ever dream of. But I was very curious to read his entire letter, as my father always quoted King Solomon in saying, “It is more important how you leave a place than how you enter it.”
In his letter Jobs is as concise and efficient as expected, soft-spoken and honoring. But there was one section in particular that caught my eye:
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
And then it hit me: what’s my succession plan?
The fact is, we’re all going to be fazed out. Terminated. Pink-slipped. Whether in our job or in life, someone – or something – is going to replace us.
The question must be asked then, are we planning for it? Or when it happens, will it catch everyone off guard, including–
(You may not even be able to finish your own sentence).
Good leaders plan for their end, and position replacements accordingly. That’s just good leadership. Because you care about the people and the entities you’re leaving behind. Or else you wouldn’t have risen to that place of stewardship to begin with. (Notice I don’t place Gaddafi in either the leadership or stewardship departments).
Within the first year of our marriage I took out a life insurance policy. Whether I was replaced by another loving husband or not, as a leader I wanted the provisional need felt in my absence to be taken care of. That’s good leadership.
As a Youth Pastor, I know it’s not my call to fill that role forever, so I’m actively preparing the guy that will replace me as I move into my next season of local church leadership.
And as a Christian on the earth, one advancing the Kingdom for God’s glory, I’m training up my children in the ways they should go, believing they will do more, win more, believe more, travel more, love more, live more, and see more for Jesus than I ever could.
In light of those ideas, preparing a succession plan becomes a joy. Because I’m leaving a legacy, not a position.
Is yours in place? ch: