Have you ever been in a really horrible meeting? You sit there for hours thinking, I’ve got so much work to do and this is going nowhere. Worse than that, your peers and leaders are distracted by their phones buzzing, or department heads are arguing about which way to go with a particular idea and it reaches a heated, unprofessional level.
Years ago I worked for a book publisher. Once a quarter we had meeting to lay out the upcoming publishing plan for the next quarter. Approximately 20 people attended. There was a lot to cover in four hours or so. The first meeting I attended, I noticed a big, orange, bell (probably from a Pit game) positioned within reach of the president’s chair. Anyone in the room could ring the bell if someone went off scope of the meeting agenda. I remember a few times someone even rang the bell when the president drifted off course (to which everyone responded with laughter.)
“…a few important ideas of how you can ensure success for the incoming leadership to key positions… ”
When I was five years old, my dad decided it was time for me to learn to swim, and he picked me up and threw me off the deck into the lake. I remember him standing on the dock yelling, “C’mon, swim…you can do it.” I’m not sure where my mother was at the time, but I am sure if she’d been within a mile of the incident, she would have jumped in and rescued me. I puttered around thinking, I’m going to drown and dog paddled back to shore, determined never to get near water in my dad’s presence again. I never had swimming lessons, but I eventually, taught myself to swim.
I can’t help but think about my dad tossing me into the water every time I hear about a person being thrown into leadership without a succession plan in place. I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen the handoff from one business generation to the next completed successfully.