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How to Transfer Power

January 19, 2021


Hey, it's Jonathan. It seems like a good day to talk about transfers of power.

Obviously, we're seeing a really messy, painful and frankly, incompetent transfer of power happen from one outgoing leader to one incoming leader and administration. And it's easy to look outside and think, Well, I would never do anything like that. And that's terrible. And that's awful. But if we focus a little closer to home, you can see that there's a parallel inside the modern organization or the modern team.

You, as a leader, you're responsible for transfers of power all the time, sometimes with that's with respect to a promoting a major new leader inside of the business or the organization. Sometimes it's smaller on a project or in some collaborative way in the organization. And there are lessons that we can learn from what we're seeing out in the world. And we can ask ourselves some better questions of how do I set this next person up for success? What projects can I clean up? What decisions can I make, to make it easier to make it simpler to create some kind of open field for this person? They're already inheriting enough complexity.

That's the nature of work our world and the nature of business right now. But how do I make it a little bit easier for them? And here's the key thing, because it's not about me, as the outgoing leader, it's about them. It's about the health and the success of the organization. And it's incumbent upon me as that outgoing leader, to clean things up as best I can and to prepare the ground as best I can. And then to step back, and to honor that new leader by taking up less space by making fewer statements by being less obviously, they're out front on that project on that team, or in the organization for a beat, to let space for that new leader, be there for them to carve their own way and to have their own voice.

If you care about the organization, if you care about the team, if you care about the mission that you're part of. You can use today's events as a mirror to look at how can I be a better transfer of power in the next time.

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