Success Equals Succession

SuccessionI’m not quite sure who coined the phrase “success equals succession”, but it is a principle that applies to every area of our lives yet it is often applied nowhere. We need to get this, otherwise all the good we do as God’s masterpiece ends with us. However, when put into action, success equals succession, leads to unlimited potential!

It’s Not Complicated

I recently had to change a battery in our car. I told my son that he needed to help me do it. It’s not that I need help changing a car battery, it’s that Joel needs to know how to change a car battery. The process of succession is simple:

1. Here’s what I do.
2. Here’s how I do it.
3. Now you do it.

When you have passed on what you do to others, it’s success. It’s leadership. It’s freeing! My organization that I lead is productive and moving forward toward it’s mission weather I’m in my office or not. Why? Success equals succession. All of the things I used to have to do, when we started, I have raised up and trained successors.

Guard Against Roadblocks To Success

What is it that keeps us from living out this principle? What are the roadblocks that keep us from choosing successors?

1. A Demanding Schedule

You may feel like you are too busy to train and equip someone to do what you do. I could have changed the battery in my car faster had I just done it myself. However, because I trained my son how to change a battery I may never have to change another car battery the rest of my life. You can’t let yourself be deceived into thinking you are too busy. See the big picture!

2. Fear of Being Replaced

What if the person I train and equip is better at what I do than I am? I hope they are. I want them to take it further than I do. If you are raising up and equipping others you will never be out of a job, rather you will be in greater demand as a leader. And, you get to focus on your strengths. Great leaders are not the ones who make all the decisions, they just make sure the right decisions are being made.

3. Unwilling To Take A Risk

Don’t let the fear of the wheals coming off the bus from time to time keep you from bridging your leadership to others. Again, see the big picture. If everything is dependent on you, it’s just a matter of time before the wheels come off the bus anyway.

I served under a great leader when I was in my early twenties. He spent time equipping and mentoring me and I didn’t even realize what he was doing while he was doing it. When it came time for him to move on, he told me it was time to take the wheel of the organization in front of his board of trustees. I told him I couldn’t, I didn’t feel prepared. He asked to take a break in the board meeting and he took me in the other room. He pointed out how he had prepared and equipped me for this. Then he said to me; “if you don’t lead this, who will?” It was a life changing moment for me and he understood that success equals succession. He went on to lead a much larger and more influential organization. And I have had the privilege of continuing to call on him for insight and direction as I have moved forward in my leadership.

The Process Of Succession:

The process of succession was modeled to us by the greatest leader of all times, Jesus. He spent 3 years pouring His life into 12 men who chose to submit to His leadership. Then He passed the mission and vision onto them. Today, 2,000 plus years later, there are millions of followers of Jesus. Why? Success equals succession. Follow His plan, identify a person and get them involved. The beauty of succession is that your influence will be multiplied and you will empower the next generation to continue on with the mission and vision God has given you as His masterpiece.

The limit to your success is not money, facilities, or any of the many other excuses that you may use every day. The limit is your willingness to simply apply this simple leadership principle – dispense with your ego, take some risk and invest in the lives of the next generation of leaders. Because success equals succession!

Next Step:

What area of your life do you need to identify and involve someone for succession?