Recently I had occasion to speak to the new Leadership Evergreen class. I’ve always been a proponent of stimulating new leaders, one of the reasons Andy Petrick and I co-founded the group 20 years ago. Sustainability of any organization is dependent upon a turnover of those in charge. In fact, I recall having read once that the success of an organization isn’t proven until it changes leadership peacefully.
While remarking that going through Leadership Evergreen is not meant to be just another comment on a résumé and encouraging the newest class to step forward and take on leadership roles with or without titles, I made a rather unlikely point….
Knowing when to step back is just as important. There’s nothing quite as uncomfortable as easing out someone whose time at the helm has stretched on too long.
Leaders don’t need to step away – they are naturals to become mentors.
So many organizations around town worry about stimulating new members, generating new leaders and simply staying alive. Some – like the Evergreen Women’s Club and the American Association of University Women – have ceased operations while others have merged to keep from throwing in the towel.