Bill Clinton made his national debut with a speech at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. He went on for 90 minutes. By far his biggest applause line of the night was “And so, in conclusion. . .” If only he’d started there.
It’s a good rule of thumb that when a member of your team needs to leave, you’re going to experience 36 hours of pain. The only question is when.
A few years ago, one of my clients was planning to step down as CEO within a couple of years and wanted to appoint his successor from inside the company. What made this tricky was that there wasn't a single, obvious candidate. Recognizing that whomever he chose would need some time to grow into the role, he wanted to get an early start. The first step was finding out who was interested and how the rest of the team felt about them.
Rather than bury this issue in a series of secretive one-on-one conversations, he asked his team a simple question: “Who among you is interested in becoming our next CEO?” Three hands went up. What happened next was remarkable.
If you’re reading this, you just might be that founder, owner, and visionary who really struggles to let go. The company is your baby. You’ve had a hand in every aspect of it for years, and you don’t know how to feel comfortable unless you keep doing that. If that sounds like you (or the person you work for), don’t worry. You have plenty of company. And there's hope.
I had a recent client session end with the team looking a little hangdog and expressing some disappointment. This was an EOS Vision Building™ 1 session, which includes getting the team’s Accountability Chart to about 90% complete and defining their Core Values.
When we dug into their disappointment, here’s what emerged:
- One team member was unhappy that in strengthening the Accountability Chart, they had surfaced a lot “Right Person/Right Seat” issues that needed to be solved.
- They were all unhappy that they were going to have to figure out how to make the Core Values they defined fit into the legacy Core Values imposed on them by their corporate parent.
So why were they disappointed?