Thursday, 10 September 2015


There is one thing in common among legends like Madiba, Martin Luther King Jnr., Mother Teresa, Patrice Lumumba and the likes, it is illustriousness. Many a people spend their lifetime building diligently companies, organizations, ministries or lifestyles that become extinct with their demise.  This happens most of the time when leaders, owners or chiefs of organizations, ministries or companies build organizations, ministries or companies around themselves. They don’t get to transfer their core attributes or values to others. Their death means the sure plummeting of the fortunes and the spirit of their outfit.
Real successful people do not last just their lifetime but for ages.  Your success means nothing if it will in no way affect and be of relevance to posterity. To ensure a continuum of success there is the need for a prepared and readied people to take over from the incumbent leader.  Succession is a rare mark of true leaders whose legacies live on.  Any great leader that ‘never dies’ goes great length to train other people to continue the work they have already begun. What separates the fake leader (that last a while) from the one whose work lingers on is his/her ability to start a movement and make it spread like wildfire.
Training others to take over from you is not something leadership must start when they are preparing to leave the scene. It should start way ahead of such plans. It should start far earlier before any thought of an exit plan comes in mind.
 Training a successor is not any easy task. In fact, it is not so much full of fun. Incumbent leaders most of the time wants to forever remain the pilot so far as they are alive. Very few leaders are ready to take the risk of tolerating young leaders steer the wheel and make mistakes.  Though tolerating a potential successor’s mistake can be costly and frustrating, with time, skills needed to lead will be smoothly transferred.
Any incumbent leader can prepare successors by impacting them with his/her culture or lifestyle. Being a leader means being an example to others. It is your way of doing things that defines who you are; this is what you have to transfer to incoming ones. What make you choose what you choose and do the things you habitually do? The answer to such a question is what you have to explain to your successors as you transfer to them key core values, vision and attributes.
Investing in people through training, giving them books and opportunity to learn on the job diligently, always reap great results. Seeds of greatness sowed in others will with time lead them to greater works.
Everyone seeking to be a great leader must know that the impact of others always goes before legacies. John C. Maxwell put it this way: “A leader simply must…..look to invest in people rather than to wring out of them (success).

Copyright © 2015, Jacob Nana Kwesi Dapaah.

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