[Blog] Things You Need To Do as the Outgoing Leader

Jun 20, 2022


By Sam Chand

If you’re succeeding an outgoing leader, you may already know that the bookshelves lack specific guidance for your situation. Highlighted here are some ideas and thoughts for your consideration.

Honor and celebrate your predecessor. In many cases, the predecessor who left you an organization to lead is loved and revered. Since people are in the process of shifting their loyalties from that leader to you, it serves you well to honor and celebrate him whenever there is opportunity. As you celebrate your predecessor, you make it easier for people to make their transitions.

Exercise patience. Following a founder, a successful entrepreneur or a much-loved Senior Pastor is no easy task. It requires self-knowledge and patience, diligence and patience, as well as patience and more patience.

It’s important to remember that acceptance can take time. How quickly a successor is accepted varies with the organization. In many cases, acceptance isn’t instantaneous upon arrival. It may help if you can acknowledge the grief and loss associated with the change. Be a realist by acknowledging what people are feeling. Offering them understanding can only help you.

How quickly a successor is accepted varies with the organization. In many cases, acceptance isn’t instantaneous upon arrival.

Build relationships with people who have the wisdom to give you advice regarding the organization’s past. Create a counsel of trusted advisors, which is sometimes called a “kitchen cabinet.” Realize that you need counsel to help you to make good decisions. Then, connect with the right people. Build good relationships with those who have the experience, the wisdom and the power and influence.

Take time to understand the shifts within the organization. You may think you know the organization inside and out, perhaps because you were there while you were being developed for your new role. But even though you were in the boardroom before, you were in another chair. Now that you’ve moved into the first chair, everyone else is relating to you in a different way. When you moved, they changed too. Because of this power shift, you have to adjust your understanding of the organization.

Be flexible and not overly sensitive. Some people will insist on being your critics. We encourage you to carefully inspect each criticism for some truth that can help you to grow. There is a shred of truth in everything. If you approach criticism from this standpoint, every critic can actually help you to grow into a better Pastor, a better leader, or a better CEO.
GROW continually. The letters in the word GROW provide an easy way to remember many of the important transitions that you’ll have to navigate.
Grasp the organizational culture as every organization is different.
Respect and honor your predecessor as well as the local traditions and customs.
Organize your strategic thinking and planning while you learn about the organization.
Work at willingness. Be open to criticism, value it and seek out the opinions of others.


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