Passing the torch of leadership is monumental to the organization. It’s the time that someone will cease to direct the organization but in no means end it. Someone has to be on that position and continue the organization. Someone needs to be on the driver seat and run for the vision that was set by the outgoing leader. It’s like starting all over again but not going back to the starting line. We press forward for the future of the organization.
Let’s dive in to God’s Word and see lessons we can learn on transition in leadership. As you read this study, you’ll discover that I’m talking to three groups of people: the incumbent leader, his leadership successor and the people to be lead. All are part of the organization and to its transition.
The opening chapter of 1 Chronicles 28 , we see King David in a public meeting to announce the coming new king, Solomon his son. The in following verses, let us draw the six lessons for leadership in transition.
1. Unfinished Business (v. 3&6) – handling the baton of leadership is not the end to itself. You won’t just be given power and influence. There are “unfinished business” you need to undertake. Don’t think that receiving an unfinished task is a way of escaping responsibility of the outgoing leader. Sometimes it’s because you are fit to finish it. Read from verse 1-6 and see that David is the one who wants to build the temple. But God has a much better plan. He gave the responsibility to Solomon. You might enter the organization and find it a mess. How will you look at it? Do you see it as a problem or unfinished task that needs to be solved?
2. Marks of a True Leader (vs. 9, 10) – this one will be your legacy. This is how you follow God and in return bless your leadership. Loving and serving Him is the utmost priority of a leader. This should be instilled to the next leader. Your testimony showed in how God worked in the organization. Showing your successor how you done it by God’s might gives him the opportunity to surrender all his strength to the will of the real CEO, President, Chairman and Captain of your soul and organization. New leaders will you follow someone who truly dedicated his or her life to God and made a difference in the organization? Leaders who will step down, is God the one leading the organization?
3. God Appoints the Next Leader (vs. 4-7) – Remember that you are appointed by God for that position. You can say you got their by your influence, education and experience. But the truth is God reserved that for you. Why? To make much of Him for His glory and for others. By the way, don’t forget the leader who you’ll replace is appointed also by God. Give him the respect he deserves for his time in that position he will entrust to you.
I would like to speak also to those people who are being lead. Whether your leader has a good or bad leadership remember this. God is still in control and He knows everything. He will be giving you a leader that will lead you and is accountable to God. But don’t forget this: you are also accountable for God so give yourself to first to God then to the organization.
4. Patterns and Guidelines (vs. 11-19) – As King David handled down his throne to Solomon; he also gave him patterns and guidelines for him and the people to follow. In David’s case, it is so important that he written it down and pass it to his son. God never leaves his leaders in the dark. He wants us to know and it will serve as a key to success for us. You can find it in the Holy Scripture or by a godly leader. Leaders, what guidelines will you give to your successor? Next in line leaders, what guidelines will you receive? Is it base on man ideas or from God?
5. Words of Assurance (v. 20) – What a great affirmation David gave to Solomon! Through out his leadership especially in building the temple, God will be there for him. Its one thing to have blessings from the retiring leader but God’s hand upon the leadership is the most important. As you exit the position, can you give words of assurance for those who will take over? You can if you have this intimate relationship with God.
6. Support from others (v. 21) – no leadership will not run unless there are people who will support you. It’s encouraging to know that after all the duties and responsibilities that you will carry; there are those people who will be there for you. Leadership is not just about you but also to those people you lead. This is the one of asset leaders should have. Competent and zealous people who will back you up as you lead them. Out going leaders, are you nurturing your people to be competent and zealous that will support the coming administration? Next in line leaders, are you ready to work with these people and continue to nurture them as the previous leader did?
A new leader gives new hope for those people to be lead. A bright future for the organization to continue. For the retiring leader, he can rest assure that whoever replace him will be someone who has the heart for leadership he once had. Leaders might differ in leadership style and insights on work. But they have something in common. Old or new leaders, their aim is for success and greater heights for the organization. And if they centered their work to the true and living God, that’s enough to call the organization successful.