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7KEYS         Seven        Keys to        Successful        Succession         By Paul Rattray              1|Page
7KEYSSeven Keys to Successful Successionv. 1.0By Paul RattrayPublished by Sacrificial Succession26 Spring Myrtle AvenueNam...
7KEYS                                     ContentsContents ..................................................................
7KEYS7Keys-7 ................................................................................................... 88Sacrifi...
7KEYSPreface    Seven keys to successful succession are oftenoverlooked in leadership transitions. The unfortunateresult i...
7KEYSleadership transition trends can be reversed andreorientated towards more successful successions.         The first o...
7KEYS        4) Open Oversight        5) Calm Conflict        6) Avoid Authoritarianism        7) Sacrifice Successional  ...
7KEYS            Introduction                In preparing his successors to replace him a            certain leader shared...
7KEYSleader knew that an altruistic—and early—mid-tenurehandover of his leadership for the success of successorswas one of...
7KEYS                       Often such conflicts remain hidden and               unresolved in transitions. Incumbents are...
7KEYS                leadership, I will stay on after the handover to advocate                for you and help prepare the...
7KEYS7Keys are as much about leadership and management asthey are about succession. To some extent this is truesince good ...
7KEYSthe succession are clearly spelled out by incumbent andthe sacrifice of leadership by incumbent is intentionallyfor t...
7KEYSJames (Jim) A. Johnson and Franklin (Frank) D. Raines6.Both were ousted due to financial impropriety yetrequested and...
7KEYS        “Finally, leaders must accept that there is no end to change -        and must plan for their own departure. ...
7KEYS               7Keys-1               Overturn Orders“If I want to give those who started last the sameas you, don’t I...
7KEYS         to these terms? Take your bonuses and go. If I want to         give the workers who started last the same bo...
7KEYSof honouring those perceived to be inferior that can oftenbe observed by senior leaders almost overdoing theirpraise ...
7KEYSthe established ways things are done and theirsupporting structures.        Most people are familiar with religious a...
7KEYSsacrifice of leadership by incumbent for successor. Toenact this strange exception the sacrifice of incumbent forsucc...
7KEYSand conscientiousness are given opportunities to comefirst. For instance, see Susan Cain’s “The power ofintroverts” v...
7KEYSmaintain corporate orders. Top leadership responsibilityfor managing a transition, leadership developmentprograms and...
7KEYShierarchies at that level of management are not actingsuccessionally.        For instance, the head of a large and ra...
7KEYSstakeholders such as employees and shareholders15.Unsurprisingly, such selfishness has tragic implications.        Fo...
7KEYSof prophets, priests and laity. Similarly, in educationalorganisations, there are well-defined producers,reproducers ...
7KEYSmediation and mastery) is in an organisational structure,the more difficult these orders are to overturn. Similarrule...
7KEYSowner did. There are numerous ways that this can bedone, and here are some practical examples:1.   Give people who ha...
7KEYS                            7Keys-2                         Ready Replacements              “I no longer call you sta...
7KEYS         In this sense, as mentioned briefly earlier,transition is the context in which a succession occurs.Leadershi...
7KEYSmediatory phases of successors’ leadership journeys helpdefine how they mediate mastery.         Here a similar quest...
7KEYS                   Whether well planned or ad hoc, in a transition            there is a pre-succession phase, which ...
7KEYSleadership position, such as management. Similarly,many candidates are appointed directly to leadershippositions from...
7KEYSmore likely to mediate and master through transitions ina self-interested way. Predictably, such self-interestultimat...
7KEYS                     Indeed, this is a valid concern if current orders are             not overturned. The truth is t...
7KEYSselfish master, their succession tends to end too late ortoo early, whereas sacrificial masters make theirmediatory s...
7KEYSthe subject is progressing towards one end of thesacrificial to selfish spectrum more than another.        Karl Poppe...
7KEYS            earlier use of the word “disciple” was deliberate. It was            chosen to describe successional cand...
7KEYS        Therefore, direct succession relationships areprimarily about incumbent attitudes towards successorsand vice ...
7KEYSObviously, a reorientation towards personally preparingready replacements may be ‘strange’ for many leaders.        D...
7KEYSministry mediates mastery? As a rule, if a sacrificialsuccession is not deliberately enacted then, by default, amore ...
7KEYS               7Keys-3                   Expose Egos“I have paid the price of your succession. Youare now ready to su...
7KEYSand smallest gate and became ‘Minister’. Each went ontheir respective journeys using their chosen strengths.        E...
7KEYS        characters than the others. Peel away the platitudes and        these characteristics are also evident in the...
7KEYS              Smith says few people act sacrificially without self-              interest, yet are of better characte...
7KEYSpower, standing and status, 3) physical dimensions suchas height and stature, and 4) their personal mental andspiritu...
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray
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7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray

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Sacrificial Succession explains how to prepare sacrificial successors, hand over leadership to them sooner rather than later then stay on post-succession to prepare the next generation of sacrificial successors.

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Transcript of "7 Keys to Successful Succession by Paul Rattray"

  1. 1. Fall 0
  2. 2. 7KEYS Seven Keys to Successful Succession By Paul Rattray 1|Page
  3. 3. 7KEYSSeven Keys to Successful Successionv. 1.0By Paul RattrayPublished by Sacrificial Succession26 Spring Myrtle AvenueNambour QueenslandAustraliahttp://www.sacrificialsuccession.com/This work is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0).You are free to:  Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work  Remix — to adapt the work  Make commercial use of the workUnder the following conditions:Attribution — You must attribute the work as follows: “Originalwork available at:Attribution statements in derivative works should not in any waysuggest endorsement of you or your use of this work.ShareAlike — If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, youmay distribute the resulting work only under the same or similarlicense to this one. 2|Page
  4. 4. 7KEYS ContentsContents ................................................................................................... 3 Preface .................................................................................................. 5 Introduction ......................................................................................... 8 Successional Leadership ............................................................... 11 Selfish to sacrificial successions ................................................... 137Keys-1 ................................................................................................... 16 Overturn Orders ................................................................................ 16 First last, last first........................................................................... 17 Peace not Disorder ........................................................................ 18 Changing course ............................................................................ 20 Breaking down barriers ................................................................ 23 Conclusion ..................................................................................... 267Keys-2 ................................................................................................... 28 Ready Replacements ........................................................................ 28 Selfish to sacrificial orientations ................................................... 30 Ministry mediates mastery ........................................................... 32 Direct succession relationships .................................................... 35 Conclusion ..................................................................................... 387Keys-3 ................................................................................................... 41 Expose Egos ....................................................................................... 41 Successor characteristics ............................................................... 42 Heart before head .......................................................................... 44 Bred or built? ................................................................................. 45 Cultural character .......................................................................... 47 Assessing altruism ......................................................................... 48 Conclusion ..................................................................................... 497Keys-4 ................................................................................................... 53Open Oversight ..................................................................................... 53 Transparent treatment .................................................................. 54 Outsider opinions .......................................................................... 55 Incumbents and instructors .......................................................... 57 Conclusion ..................................................................................... 607Keys-5 ................................................................................................... 63 Calm Conflict .................................................................................... 63 Desire for greatness ....................................................................... 65 Resolve conflict correctly .............................................................. 66 The ‘Judas’ principle ..................................................................... 68 Conclusion ..................................................................................... 707Keys-6 ................................................................................................... 73Avoid Authoritarianism ....................................................................... 73 Authority aware ............................................................................ 74 Succession rules ............................................................................. 78 Succession outcomes ..................................................................... 81 Successor scenarios........................................................................ 83 Conclusion ..................................................................................... 85 3|Page
  5. 5. 7KEYS7Keys-7 ................................................................................................... 88Sacrifice Successionally ....................................................................... 88 Ministry of service ......................................................................... 90 Mediatory sacrifice ........................................................................ 92 Mastery of advocacy ..................................................................... 95 Sacrificial succession ..................................................................... 97 Conclusion ................................................................................... 102 Appendix ......................................................................................... 104 Endnotes .......................................................................................... 106 7Keys. 4|Page
  6. 6. 7KEYSPreface Seven keys to successful succession are oftenoverlooked in leadership transitions. The unfortunateresult is succession failure and crisis. Surprisingly,perhaps, the master key to successful transitions issacrificial succession. Sacrificial Succession is thealtruistic, mid-tenure handover of leadership mediatedby incumbent for successor success. SacrificialSuccession includes pre- and post-succession preparationof altruistic successors. This book shows leaders how tobe successful successors by sacrificing successionally. Unsuccessful leadership transitions start withincumbents failing to prepare altruistic successors thenavoiding a sacrificial handover of leadership. Thisoversight causes leadership voids and succession crisis.Applying the Seven Keys (7Keys) of this book helps bringgreater succession success because it puts the onus of agreater sacrifice on incumbent rather than successor. Most leadership transitions and successions aredefined by the handover of managerial authority frompredecessor to successor. While succession is usuallyassociated with leadership transition, its importance to asuccessful leadership legacy is often overlooked. Thisdisconnect between leadership and succession isevidenced by good leaders having poor successions. Today, this oversight allows more selfishly thansacrificially motivated successors to dominate. Due tothese factors coupled with ageing leaderships, especiallyin the west, and younger generations of leaders lesswilling to take on corporate leadership, transition crisis isa serious leadership problem1. Despite the predominance of professionalsuccession planning and management, leadershipdevelopment and placement programs, there is limitedoutcome evidence to prove that these “best practices” areactually working2. The 7Keys to successful succession ofthis book explain why these approaches are ultimatelyunsuccessful. They also show how these unsuccessional 5|Page
  7. 7. 7KEYSleadership transition trends can be reversed andreorientated towards more successful successions. The first of the 7Keys involves overturning ordersby giving those normally coming last opportunities to befirst. Key two is about intentionally readyingreplacements as successors rather than leaders. Key 3 isabout exposing egos amongst potential successors to findthose that are more sacrificially orientated. Key fourinvolves being open to the oversight of other leaderswhen choosing successors. Keys five and six are aboutcalming the inevitable successor conflicts that arise andavoiding the corporate and dynastic authoritarianismfound in so many successions. Finally, key number seven, the Master Key,explains sacrificial succession: the altruistic hand over ofleadership to successors mediated by incumbent, as apromising solution to transition crisis. Sacrificialsuccession requires incumbents to directly preparealtruistic replacements pre-succession, sacrificiallyhandover leadership to these successors mid-tenure thenstay on to act as successor advocates post-succession. Failing to use these 7Keys, and particularly the lastkey, in leadership transitions is what causes many goodleaders to have poor successions. Using these seven keysis critical for successor and succession success. Examplesof successful and unsuccessful successions are sharedlater. Despite the numerous—and excellent—successionplanning techniques and technologies, professionalmanagers and leadership development programsavailable, succession crises and leadership voids willcontinue to effect transitions until these seven keys areput into practice. In short, transition crises will continue to occuruntil more leaders start practicing sacrificial succession.Applying these 7Keys to successful succession will helpend much transitional uncertainty. Succession crisis canbe avoided by using the following 7Keys: 1) Overturn Orders 2) Ready Replacements 3) Expose Egos 6|Page
  8. 8. 7KEYS 4) Open Oversight 5) Calm Conflict 6) Avoid Authoritarianism 7) Sacrifice Successional These seven keys to successful succession arebased on common-sense insights combined with age-oldtruths that are as relevant today as ever. They aresupported by some of the latest research into altruismand leadership showing that sacrificial leaders can indeedmake the most successful successors. Successful successors willingly serve and preparetheir followers altruistically, sacrificially hand over theirleadership early then stay on post succession to advocatefor the next generation of successors. Each of theseseminal truths is revealed through the following SevenKeys to Successful Succession. 7Keys. 7|Page
  9. 9. 7KEYS Introduction In preparing his successors to replace him a certain leader shared his private and public life with them. It gave his disciples the opportunity to see not only how he acted at work but also how he interacted with his family and friends, rivals and enemies in public and privately. He told them stories that challenged established norms and structures. Together, these potential successors were given projects that developed their ability to lead as successors. They learned by doing directly from their leader. He did strange things that challenged established orders of the day. This They were regularly taken leader gave those who normally aside by their leader over a come last opportunities to be first.more than three-year period He put the interests of others beforeand reminded of the manner, timing and place of the his own. In so doing he challenged impending handover. and overturned existing orders. Importantly, this leader modelled these keys to successful succession, personally and professionally. He directly prepared his successors for transition by predicting how, when and where he would sacrificially give up his leadership. These ready replacements were well prepared as successors because this outgoing leader already had an exit strategy in mind with a clear timeline for transition well before the time he was succeeded. Also, this leader readied his replacements as successors rather than subordinates. “I no longer call you staff because staff do not know what their masters are doing. Instead I call you my friends, because everything I have learned from my predecessors I have made known to you,” their leader said. These successional candidates, learned discipline—the base meaning of the word “disciple” by doing what their leader did. Because their leader was still in the prime of life, these potential successors felt he was planning to hand over leadership too early in his tenure. Nevertheless, this 8|Page
  10. 10. 7KEYSleader knew that an altruistic—and early—mid-tenurehandover of his leadership for the success of successorswas one of the keys to successful successions. Having these doubts did not, however, stop thesedisciples from competing for the incumbent’s position.Wisely, their leader understood the need to expose egosso that the selfish to sacrificial motivations of potentialsuccessors could be revealed beforehand. When some ofthese potential successors humbly approached theirleader to seek favours in the upcoming transition this keywas applied masterfully. With his ability to expose egos this leaderunderstood the selfish to sacrificial motivations of eachsuccessor. In this particular culture the pull of kinshipwas strong. Other cultures favour connections over clan,but these self-serving motivations are common andinsidious to most transitions. In response to their approach the leader asked,“What is it that you want?” Their reply [often unspoken],as with most seeking favour in transitions, was to becomethe greatest by becoming successors. The leader went onto ask them, “But are you able to make the sacrifices that Iam about to make for this succession to occur. Their self-confident reply, “We can!” The leaderconfirmed their self-serving willingness to sacrifice bysaying, “You will indeed make similar sacrifices to mebut the decision about my successors is open to oversight.This astute leader made sure that he was accountable toother stakeholders for the crucial decision about thechoice of successor. He knew that being open tooversight counters bias and provides the balance that isso often absent in successions. When the other leadership contenders heard aboutthis attempt to gain special favour they wereunderstandably indignant. Gathering the aggrievedgroup together the leader dealt with the problem quicklyand transparently. He understood the need to calmconflicts by dealing with issues of betrayal openly andhonestly—and quickly! 9|Page
  11. 11. 7KEYS Often such conflicts remain hidden and unresolved in transitions. Incumbents are reluctant to deal with these matters publically by involving the interested parties because they fear further conflict. Instead, this leader skilfully used the conflict situation to calm things down. In fact, this situation was used to teach an object lesson about avoiding authoritarianism. The leader knew it was the leadership contenders’ desire for greatness that was at the heart of the conflict. Therefore he went on to describe the authoritarian leadership norms of the day so evident in the behaviour of these succession candidates. “Just as I have served others Evidence of authoritarianism israther than myself and give up found in most corporate and dynasticmy leadership sacrificially as a transitions. Top leaders authorise a ransom for you, so too must succession and their intermediaries you do the same as my exercise this authority over their successors.” subordinates. Sometimes these self- serving leaders act like barons and at other times as benefactors, yet remain authoritarian nonetheless. Their preference is for strict rules and established authority. Rejecting this naturalistic approach to transitions, this sacrificial leader went on to explain a radical alternative. The truth of sacrificing successionally is at the heart of successful succession. Instead of being self- serving and seeking power, the leader said that they should be sacrificial. “Altruistically serving others rather than yourself is the true measure of greatness,” their leader said. Reminding his disciples about the first coming last, the leader went on to say that they too must be willing to come last and be the least. Then the leader got personal: “Just as I have served others rather than myself and give up my leadership sacrificially as a ransom for you, so too must you do the same as my successors.” Finally, this outgoing leader said, “Even though I am sacrificing my leadership early for your successional success, I am not leaving you. After handing over my 10 | P a g e
  12. 12. 7KEYS leadership, I will stay on after the handover to advocate for you and help prepare the next generation of sacrificial successors”. Eventually these potential successors came to realise that even leaders who serve others faithfully are less successful without enacting a sacrificial succession. The latter (sacrifice) is the genuine outworking of the former (service) and without a sacrificial succession most transitions remain ineffective because sacrifice complements service to make both sides of the successional coin complete. Because these candidate successors had personally seen their leader sacrifice successionally, they Overturn orders, ready were well prepared as sacrificial replacements, expose egos, open oversight, calm conflict, avoid successors. authoritarianism and sacrifice Due to observing these seven successional would echo in the truths first-hand through their hearts and minds of these leader’s sacrificial transition, theysuccessors throughout their lives. were impossible for these successors to forget. Overturn orders, ready replacements, expose egos, open oversight, calm conflict, avoid authoritarianism and sacrifice successionally would echo in the hearts and minds of these successors throughout their lives. This successional imprint would live on in the leaderships of their successors as long as they practiced these seven keys to successful succession. Successional Leadership The sacrificial succession defined in the previous section involves the altruistic handover of leadership by incumbent. This transfer of leadership is specifically for the benefit of successor. It involves incumbents directly preparing ready replacements during the pre-succession, sacrificing their leadership ambitions mid-tenure then staying on post-succession to advocate for the next generation of successors. Due to its obvious association with leadership and succession in particular, an uncritical reading of the seven steps to sacrificial succession may conclude that the 11 | P a g e
  13. 13. 7KEYS7Keys are as much about leadership and management asthey are about succession. To some extent this is truesince good leadership and management shouldultimately be about having an effective succession. For example, “Begin with the end in mind,” toquote Stephen Covey’s second of ‘The Seven Habits ofHighly Successful People’ means starting with a clearunderstanding of the planned destination3. Since theaims of succession planning and management, leadershipsuccession and development are to have the right peoplein the right jobs at the right time, broadly speaking thesegoals fit with the 7Keys. There are, however, a number of importantdifferences between sacrificial succession as defined inthis book and leadership transition and managementsuccession norms that need pointing out. First,succession must come before leadership in order ofimportance. This first truth of the 7Keys, which is thatthe ‘last must be first’ is not mere semantics. It iscritically important as a starting point for sacrificialsuccession to initially occur. By overturning the order of leadership successionto succession leadership the intent is to make clear thatfor successful successions to eventuate this order mustfirst be overturned. Second is that to be genuinelysuccessional, the focus on managers being developed tofill leadership pipelines must be replaced by a muchgreater emphasis on a far wider pool of candidates. Forexample, potential successors should come from a varietyof non-managerial fields. As Stephen Drotter of the LeadershipDevelopment Pipeline rightly says, the operatingdefinition of leadership should be to make performancehappen so that others become more effective4. Yet thefocus on developing successors to be effective self-managers who eventually learn to manage others islimiting. Instead of developing leaders who can takeover if and when needed, the seven keys areunequivocally about preparing successors as readyreplacements in transitions where the timing and terms of 12 | P a g e
  14. 14. 7KEYSthe succession are clearly spelled out by incumbent andthe sacrifice of leadership by incumbent is intentionallyfor the benefit of successors.Selfish to sacrificial successions To summarise the key differences betweensacrificial succession the master key of this book, andother more self-interested forms of leadership succession,is to reiterate its focus. First is the emphasis on readyingreplacements as successors rather than developingleaders or managers to fill future leadership positions. Second is that that to be genuinely successionalincumbents must sacrifice their leadership for the benefitof successors mid-tenure. As a direct outworking ofthese first two successional differences, the third maindifference involves incumbent staying on as replacedleader to advocate for the next generation of successors. Successional leadership is about leaving asacrificial succession legacy of ready replacementsprepared as successors, leadership sacrificially handedover for the benefit of successors and advocacy for thenext generation of successors by incumbent as its mostimportant elements. Though strange and unnatural,sacrificial succession is logical and possible. While these three key phases of sacrificialsuccession are not commonly practiced in transitions,glimpses of successional leadership, a precursor tosacrificial succession, are occasionally observed. Twotransitions worth mentioning, as examples, are those ofFannie Mae’s David Maxwell to Jim Johnson and F. W. deKlerk to Nelson Mandela. In the case of David O. Maxwell, he voluntarilyrelinquished his rights to a final retirement payment of$5.5 million in 1991 stipulated under his contract withFannie Mae, a mortgage security provider5. He took thisaction to stop continued controversy over his retirementcompensation. Also, he believing that it could harm hissuccessor Jim Johnson and the millions of AmericansFannie Mae served. How different Maxwell’s sacrificialact turned out to be to the selfishness of his successors 13 | P a g e
  15. 15. 7KEYSJames (Jim) A. Johnson and Franklin (Frank) D. Raines6.Both were ousted due to financial impropriety yetrequested and received huge retirement packages. In stark contrast, the amount that Maxwellsurrendered contributed to housing for low-incomefamilies. Johnson and Raines on the other hand arguablycontributed to Fannie Mae’s eventual collapse and globaleconomic crisis. How different can these sacrificial andselfish succession legacies possibly be? Another example of a sacrificial succession is therelatively smooth political succession from FrederikWillem de Klerk to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in SouthAfrica. Without both incumbent and successor willinglyand intentionally making mutual sacrifices, conflictrather than consensus would have been almostguaranteed. Then the history of South Africa would havebeen like much of the rest of Africa—plagued bytransition crisis and conflict. Having a close succession relationship, despitetheir strong political and personal differences, was acrucial factor in the successful succession from de Klerkto Mandela. Both were obviously motivated by mutualself-interest. Nevertheless, the greater good of the nationand the people were ultimately put first by both men.Their successional leaderships were defined by awillingness to mutually sacrifice7. For de Klerk it was sacrificing his future politicalleadership ambitions and with Mandela it was servingpeaceful instead of radical political change. Both men lefta virtually unparalleled successful succession legacy inAfrica and jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. DeKlerk continues his role in brokering peaceful successionsthrough the Global Leadership Foundation, which hefounded. Nelson Mandela is honoured as an elderstatesmen and peacemaker. A fitting quote from F. W. de Klerk about thistumultuous time in South Africa’s history and the keyrole his and Mandela’s successional leadership played init is a fitting conclusion to this chapter and introductionto the ensuing seven keys. 14 | P a g e
  16. 16. 7KEYS “Finally, leaders must accept that there is no end to change - and must plan for their own departure. As soon as one has achieved one’s transformation objectives one must start the process all over again. In a world in which change is accelerating, fundamental and unpredictable there is no respite or time to rest on one’s laurels. One of the most difficult decisions for any leader is to accept that he, too, will one day be swept away by the unrelenting river of time. The wise leader will know when to leave and when to pass the baton to a new generation8.” A successful succession is essential to effectiveleadership yet is so often overlooked as being an integralpart of it. Succession is integral to leadership. So muchso that in this study the order is overturned fromleadership succession to read “succession leadership”.Many examples of this reorientation will be sharedthroughout the book. Probably the most important reorientation inthinking necessary to become more successful andsuccessional is the first of the 7Keys. Overturning ordersrequires a willingness to change the way things arenormally done so that other ways can be tried andapplied. Overturning orders is the first Key that startsthe sacrificial process. 7Keys. 15 | P a g e
  17. 17. 7KEYS 7Keys-1 Overturn Orders“If I want to give those who started last the sameas you, don’t I have the right to do what I wantwith my own money? Or are you jealousbecause I am generous? So the last will be firstand the first last” – The Business Owner A story is told about a certain business ownerembarking on an unusual successor recruitment drive.At the beginning of the year the business owner agreedwith a group of workers to pay them fair wages and aspecified bonus following the completion of their 12-month contract. After three months, more workers were needed, sothe business owner went out and hired more workerspromising to pay fair wages and a generous unspecifiedbonus. The workers gladly accepted. Following that, thebusiness owner went out and hired more workers on thesame fair payment basis three months later and again inthe ninth month of that year. Then, in the 11th month, the business owner wentout and recruited even more workers, again promisingfair wages and bonuses. At the end of the year thebusiness owner asked his manager to gather all theworkers together to give them their bonuses beginningwith those who started last. Surprisingly, especially for those who started firstand last, everyone received the same generous bonus.Those who started first and had worked the longest andhardest complained to the business owner, “Theseworkers who were hired last only worked one month, yetyou made their bonuses equal to ours—and we workedfor 12 months!” But the business owner answered them,“Friends, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree 16 | P a g e
  18. 18. 7KEYS to these terms? Take your bonuses and go. If I want to give the workers who started last the same bonuses as you, don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you jealous because I am generous? So the last will be first and the first last.” This story highlights a number of important truths about human nature, especially in transitions and successions. For the purposes of this study, a transition is the context in which a succession, the handover of leadership from predecessor to successor, occurs. A transition includes a pre- succession period, prior to theApart from promoting a mutual interest in and care for one handover of leadership, a another, it sends a message to succession event, whenthose who normally come first leadership is handed over and a that the leadership is serious post-succession period, whichabout giving those coming last involves successor and equal opportunities. sometimes predecessors. In successions there is always an expectation that those who have worked longest and hardest should have the best positions and benefits based on their performance and tenure. By overturning orders and reversing norms that naturally apply the business owner was better able to identify the selfish rather than sacrificial motives of those who had started first due to their stronger sense of entitlement. First last, last first Understanding this first key of overturning orders by using it correctly opens the door to the other 7Keys. To genuinely overturn orders means giving successional opportunities to those that come last and who are lower in status because those who normally come first and are higher in status do not need to be given these same opportunities. Therefore, a willingness on a leader’s part to overturn orders is an obvious prerequisite. Applying this key means deliberately turning the tables in favour of those who normally come last. It is not about the practice 17 | P a g e
  19. 19. 7KEYSof honouring those perceived to be inferior that can oftenbe observed by senior leaders almost overdoing theirpraise of such ministers and ministry activities. Instead, overturning orders is about encouragingsocial and structural change through these activities.Apart from promoting a mutual interest in and care forone another, it sends a message to those who normallycome first that the leadership is serious about givingthose coming last equal opportunities. Practicallyspeaking, overturning orders means choosing contendersfrom outside of the normal management streams toinclude those who are genuine outsiders rather thancorporate insiders. Nurturing successors that are “inside-outsiders”,to borrow a phrase from Joseph L. Bowers of the HarvardBusiness School, means developing internal candidateswho have an outside perspective9. Grooming internalsuccessor candidates with an outsider orientationpromises stronger leadership transitions. Despite its positive implications, the mainlimitation of this thinking is that managers continue to beconsidered the most appropriate leaders. It should beself-evident that this does not overturn establishedorders. In fact, such thinking may actually reinforcethem. To quote the business owner, “So the last will befirst and the first last”, is an outcome statement ratherthan an objective to be achieved. Therefore, overturning orders is a deliberateexercise in changing norms by making potentialsuccessors from unlikely fields and roles eligible forleadership. For example, it means making successors ofpeople from service and technical streams as eligible asthose from management fields.Peace not Disorder Overturning orders is not, however, aboutengineering disorder or chaos. Instead it is aboutchanging the normal ways things are done and theestablished structures that support them. That is why theword “orders” is used to describe this key. Orders are 18 | P a g e
  20. 20. 7KEYSthe established ways things are done and theirsupporting structures. Most people are familiar with religious and socialorders that have defined hierarchies and structures thatare not easily overturned. For example, think of who isauthorised to speak on behalf of a church or business.Usually it is pastors in churches and managers inbusiness. Although its aim is to overturn establishedorders, the intent of this key is not to create chaos ordisorder in the process. As such, successful successorsare not to be authors or agents of instability, disturbanceor confusion. Instead, peace between individuals andorganisational harmony is expected from this process.This is why the act of putting those coming last first mustbe put into practice so that members of an organisationall alike learn to have an altruistic, mutual interest in andcare for one another. This is a good working definition ofaltruism, an important word in this book. Unfortunately, most proposals for overturningorders are designed around engineering chaos orconfusion, such as civil revolutions, social engineering orreverse discrimination, to achieve peace. This is acontradiction in terms because, in and of themselves,chaos and confusion cannot beget peace and harmony. Now those who are familiar with so-called “chaosor complexity theory”, which refers to inter-relationshipsbetween elements in a system, may take exception to thisdefinition10. However the main point about complexityin systems such as leadership and succession is that whatmay initially appear to be chaotic can actually have anunderlying order. Finding this underlying order incomplexity can help provide unique solutions toapparently intractable problems such as succession crisis. Note that chaos theory does not imply everythingchaotic necessarily has an underlying order. Thus theexception to the rule about chaotic events usually beingdetrimental is when apparently chaotic events occur thatdo not appear to make logical sense yet are strangelysuccessful. One of these strange exceptions is the 19 | P a g e
  21. 21. 7KEYSsacrifice of leadership by incumbent for successor. Toenact this strange exception the sacrifice of incumbent forsuccessor success must outweigh the self-sacrifice ofsuccessor in their efforts to gain leadership. While conventional wisdom and natural logicargues against leader sacrifice for subordinates in favourof subordinates sacrificing for leaders, this overturning oforders is actually proven to be the more successful. Thisstrange truth is expanded upon through each key andbecomes particularly obvious in key number seven,sacrificing successionally.Changing course To apply the sort of strange logic that the businessowner used to weed out those serving selfishly in favourof those more sacrificially inclined required a completechange of course. By promoting those who normallycome last, first, in a peaceful manner, the business ownerwas enacting a “paradigm shift”, a complete reorientationin thinking and acting. For this total change to occur requires a completeshift in thinking and doing which, in turn, allows for anew course of action. Philosopher and historian ThomasS. Kuhn (1922 -1996), says this decision to reject oneparadigm is always simultaneously the decision to acceptanother11. It is a complete reorientation from one courseto another that rejects the former in favour of the latter. In other words, to overturn orders in successionsmeans being willing to reject transitional norms thatfavour the first: powerful, extroverted, and privileged, tosupport the last: powerless, introverted and lessprivileged. With this paradigm shift in mind, it shouldbe more obvious that without overturning orders it isimpossible to change these unsuccessional norms. Therefore, a pertinent example of an established‘order’ that needs overturning is the preference forextroverts in leadership. Extroverts are known to thriveon group activity and dominance. They tend to beleaders in organisations12. By overturning this order,introverts who are more stimulated by personal reflection 20 | P a g e
  22. 22. 7KEYSand conscientiousness are given opportunities to comefirst. For instance, see Susan Cain’s “The power ofintroverts” video on http://www.ted.com/ for thisalternative view. What this sort of paradigm shift suggests is thatthe orders needing overturning are both people andprocess orientated. A people orientated change requiresoverturning preferences for certain personalities, such asextroverts in favour of more introverts. Procedurally thiswould mean favouring candidates with a track record ofserving and ministering to others over professionals whohave ministered, mediated and mastered using more self-serving managerial or technical abilities. Therefore, process orientated changes need tosupport the different ways people are chosen and theirperformances assessed. For example, this could meanchanging evaluations to be less extravert-centric to bemore introvert- friendly. Also, evaluations would needto identify the progress or regression of a candidate interms of being more sacrificial or selfish. Givingsuccessional candidates projects and assignmentsspecifically designed to develop sacrificial orientationsand expose selfish inclinations is another practicalexample used so well by the leader in the introduction. Other orders that need overturning are those thatassume successful successions involve the dynastichandover of leadership to family members or thecorporate reshuffle of top leaders. For example, many ofthe non-western leaders I know personally have preparedfor succession by handing over or are planning to handover leadership to their children. One incumbent has already handed over theleadership of two non-profit organisations to a son anddaughter respectively. Two thriving trainingorganisations have chosen dynastic succession fromfather to son. Worldwide, dynastic or familialsuccessions are the most common forms of leadershiptransition practiced today. A natural, especially western, response to theseobvious problems with dynastic successions is to 21 | P a g e
  23. 23. 7KEYSmaintain corporate orders. Top leadership responsibilityfor managing a transition, leadership developmentprograms and systematic succession planning andmanagement systems are all examples of these ‘bestpractice’ solutions. Despite the prevalence of these successiontechniques and technologies, research shows thatmaintaining these corporate orders are not necessarilysolving succession crisis13. Some of the main causes ofthese corporate failures are that few successors areprepared as ready replacements and incumbents wholeave too early or too late in a transition are the rulerather than exception. However, even with strong evidence that many ofthese unsuccessional practices cause transition crisis,overturning these entrenched succession orders ischallenging. Whenever I share my succession concernswith colleagues and friends, most honestly admit to theirsuccession fears and failures. For example, the director ofa large, multinational charity admitted that leadershipsuccession is ‘something we do badly’. At the time, he went on to tell me candidly that hehad made no concrete plans for a leadership successorand neither have most of his counterparts in theorganisation. To date, he has turned this situationaround by handing leadership over to a successor andstaying on as chairman to guide his new successor. Now he is asking how long he should stay on postsuccession and whether it is actually necessary to do so.Conventional corporate wisdom says he should move onsooner rather than later. By overturning this order, thisoutgoing leader could stay on for a time post-successionas a guide, advocate and counsellor to his successor. Obviously this sort of post-succession oversight isuncommon in corporate settings. Then again, fewcorporate or dynastic successions fail at all levels of afirm at one time. For example, some organisations canhave relatively successful successions at ‘ministerial’ orsupervisor levels in field offices yet are at risk at ‘headoffice’ mastery level. This is because specific orders and 22 | P a g e
  24. 24. 7KEYShierarchies at that level of management are not actingsuccessionally. For instance, the head of a large and rapidlygrowing small business development firm shared thatwhile his workers in the field are preparing andappointing successors quite well, their top leaders,including him, are aging. No successors have beenprepared to take over these top jobs. He admitted thatthis failure to prepare executive replacements was onethe gravest threats to their organisation’s longevity.Overturning orders at all levels of an organisation arecritical for successful succession to occur properly. Reasons why these psychological and physicalorders are the way they are is discussed more fully in Key3, “Exposing Egos”. It suffices to say that much helpfulsuccession planning and management advice and activityis focusing on improving transition processes throughbetter techniques and technologies. Collectively theseactivities, often called “practices”, are designed tomaintain status quos not change them. Though succession improvement practices such astransition planning and leadership development arehelpful at a process level, they are not usually designedto impact successions at a cultural or deeper valueslevel14. One of the reasons for this pragmatic approach isthe widely and rightly held view that cultural values aremuch more difficult to change than technical practices. However it is unlikely that succession orders canbe overturned at a practice level if not supported by afundamental change of values in practitioners. This isespecially the case with actions relating to altruism andself-sacrifice for others. Findings presented in 7Keys 3notes the importance of the strong link between valuesand practices for such sacrificial actions to occur.Breaking down barriers The truth of this reality with overturning orders isborne out by research that shows top leaders, such asnew Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), have a tendency topursue their own self-interests at the expense of other 23 | P a g e
  25. 25. 7KEYSstakeholders such as employees and shareholders15.Unsurprisingly, such selfishness has tragic implications. For example, ongoing global financial crisispainfully reveals that prescribed ‘best practices’performed by selfish practitioners usually fail becausepractitioners as leaders dictate practices, not the otherway around. Therefore, to overturn orders, deliberateaction must be taken to break down existing barriers andboundaries that inhibit the last coming first. These actions must be intentionally designed tooverturn and expose existing orders, as the businessowner at the beginning of this chapter did. Oneimportant way of doing this is to understand thehierarchies that normally operate in organisations.Studying the strong boundaries that occur betweendifferent levels of authority in organisations is as good aplace as any to start observing these orders in operation. For example, most organisations tend to havethree main levels of authority: ministers, mediators andmasters. Ministers usually serve others as workers orsupervisors with lower levels of authority. Masters arethose who excel in certain fields of professional expertiseor in leading others. Mediators often act as go-betweensand are most often recognised as managers and teamleaders. It is concerning to note today how so manygovernment and religious ministers have deviated fromthe original intent of the word “minister” which literallymeans servant, in order to ‘serve’ others selfishly ratherthan sacrificially. Introducing these terms: ministers, mediators andmasters and ministry, mediation and mastery, as definedabove, are helpful in identifying leadership structuresand leader styles. They also help explain the barriers thatexist between these groups and the strength of theseboundaries in organisations. Each of these functional andbehavioural descriptions of selfish to sacrificialsuccessions and successors will become more obvious inthe ensuing chapters. As positions and vocations, these barriers arerecognisable in religious institutions through the orders 24 | P a g e
  26. 26. 7KEYSof prophets, priests and laity. Similarly, in educationalorganisations, there are well-defined producers,reproducers and acquirers of knowledge. Functionally,in corporations, there is a hierarchy of workers or staffoverseen by managers and supervisors managed byexecutives or directors. See for example the following diagram that showshow this three-tier people hierarchy tends to operate inmost organisations. Three-Tier People Hierarchy People Corporate Dynastic Churches MASTERS Executives/Directors Owners Pastors MEDIATORS Managers/Supervisors Managers/Supervisors Elders/Deacons MINISTERS Staff/Workers Staff/Workers MembersFigure 1: Three-Tier Hierarchy As a rule, in each of these types of organisation,relatively strong boundaries exist between each class ofleader. Despite these boundaries or orders being dilutedsomewhat by increasingly distributed online forms ofknowledge, power and functions, due to the Internet inparticular, even a casual observer can recognise that theseboundaries of varying strengths and strata remain inmost organisations. Another way of looking at hierarchies is from aprocess perspective. In other words, those authorised tomake decisions and pass them on to others. Three-Tier Process Hierarchy Process Managerial Educational Familial MASTERY Authorise Produce Own MEDIATORY Exercise Reproduce Manage MINISTRY Receive Acquire ServeFigure 2: Three-Tier Practice Hierarchy As sociologist Basil Bernstein (1924-2000) astutelyobserved, people in one category are unlikely to beaccepted in another class until they become a part of thatclass. Another rule is that, usually, one can only occupyone category at a time16. Applied to succession, thestronger the boundary between each class of successor(minister, mediator and master) and practice (ministry, 25 | P a g e
  27. 27. 7KEYSmediation and mastery) is in an organisational structure,the more difficult these orders are to overturn. Similarrules apply to selfish versus sacrificial styles of successorsand succession.Conclusion Notwithstanding these enormous structural andbehavioural challenges, overturning these orders is amust, because this first key opens the other doors tosuccessful succession. As with the business owner’ssuccessor candidates, their tendency to be more selfishthan sacrificial became immediately obvious when theirexpectations about coming first were challenged.Planning and implementing similar challenges to thestatus quo as the business owner did will do two things. First, it will reveal the sacrificial to selfishmotivations of many potential successors. Secondly, itwill give those who normally come last a realopportunity to be first. This intentional turning of thetables can be a valuable exercise in the process ofidentifying more sacrificial successor candidates andeliminate those who are more selfishly motivated. Within this intent to overturn orders peace ratherthan disorder or chaos should prevail, even thoughapparently strange even illogical outcomes may emerge,such as the first coming last and last coming first. Moresacrificial rather than selfish successors can then becomecontenders. Regardless of these positive intentions, itmust be acknowledged that even a relatively peacefuloverturning of orders by a sacrificial leader such as theone described in the introduction will not be comfortable. Any change to a status quo such as that ofoverturning orders is by its very strangeness a painfulexercise. However, once this key of overturning ordershas opened the door to these radical changes, the nextkey of readying replacements can be enacted safe in theknowledge that the right door has been opened. In so much as it depends on you don’t be overlyconcerned about the implications of trying to enact thesestrange opportunities to overturn orders, as the business 26 | P a g e
  28. 28. 7KEYSowner did. There are numerous ways that this can bedone, and here are some practical examples:1. Give people who have served faithfully in the field the same opportunities as potential successors to those from head office.2. Offer potential successors from non-managerial backgrounds, such as technical and social experts, opportunities to come first.3. Promote people who have a history of sacrificing for others, rather than for themselves, first and be prepared to offer them leadership.4. Provide potential successors coming or starting last similar opportunities to those who started first and normally come first.5. Permit other personalities, such as introverts, not normally considered for leadership to be prepared as potential successors.6. Reward practitioners who have a sacrificial and altruistic track record of serving others more than self-serving professionals.7. Recognise the selfish orders that need to be overturned in your organisation and be prepared to enact altruistic changes. 7Keys. 27 | P a g e
  29. 29. 7KEYS 7Keys-2 Ready Replacements “I no longer call you staff because staff do not know what their leaders are doing. Instead I call you my friends, because everything I have learned from my predecessor I have made known to you”—The Leader Having ready replacements is not just about producing enough leaders and managers capable of taking over leadership from incumbents. Instead it is about incumbents intentionally preparing successors to replace them. Remember the leader in the introduction who clearly spelled out the timing of the transition and regularly reminded his disciples about his upcoming sacrificial succession? He intentionally trained them for transition over a three-and-a-half year period. Similar to overturning orders, despite have some rather ‘strange’ logic that selfless successors are ultimately more successful than self-At least once in a successor’s interested ones, readying replacementslifetime—and for most many is not an ad hoc activity. Deliberate times—this transitional action is required to track the journey from ministry to development of a candidate beingmastery will be mediated by prepared as a successor to ensure they selfishness or sacrifice. are the right person for the job. Recall the three orders mentioned in the previous key of ministry, mediation and mastery that define leadership levels and practices in most organisations? These same successional terms can be applied as phases to the journey successors take as leaders. At least once in a successor’s lifetime—and for most many times—this transitional journey from ministry to mastery will be mediated by selfishness or sacrifice. 28 | P a g e
  30. 30. 7KEYS In this sense, as mentioned briefly earlier,transition is the context in which a succession occurs.Leadership transitions must involve a predecessor andsuccessor and include three distinct phases: 1) Pre-succession preparation or planning, 2) Succession eventor trigger where leadership is handed over and 3) a Post-succession phase where successor becomes master17. Foran organisation to continue functioning as an entity, atsome point, this succession process starts again thencontinues in cycles. Pre-succession preparation can be well planned orad hoc. Successors normally replace predecessors duringthe succession event. More often than not at this pointpredecessors leave. Occasionally predecessors stay onpost-succession. Essentially a person’s “ministry” phaseis when they are predominantly in voluntary service orsubordination to others, usually with the aim of usingthis period of service to further their career. See thediagram below which describes these selfish to sacrificialleadership transitions. Succession Stages Stages Pre-Succession Succession Post-Succession Phases Ministry Mediatory Mastery Others-serving Sacrifices mid- Altruistic advocacy Sacrificial Three- altruism and tenure for with leadership for Stage sacrifice successor success successorsSelfish One or Two- Leaves too early during ministry or Stays on too long till Stage mediatory phase end of mastery phaseFigure 3: Selfish to Sacrificial Transitions Everyone goes through a ministry phase at leastonce in life when they learn something from someoneelse. For example, to get a qualification or when firststarting a job. For most leaders, a self-serving ‘ministry’becomes a stepping-stone to mastery mediated by somesort of skill or ability. A key question here for preparingready replacements is how they serve others—sacrificially or selfishly—during their ministry phase? Assessing whether (or not) a person has servedmore selfishly with expectation or selflessly withoutexpectation is an important measure of the man orwoman being considered or groomed as successor. The 29 | P a g e
  31. 31. 7KEYSmediatory phases of successors’ leadership journeys helpdefine how they mediate mastery. Here a similar question can be asked to that of theministry phase evaluation. In mediating mastery havepotential successors tended to be sacrificially or selfishlyorientated? Their actions during the mediatory phasestrongly determine their mastery orientations. In assessing the sacrificial to selfish orientations ofpotential successors, a key aspect of the mediatory phaseis its role in bridging the gap between the ministry andmastery phases. As a bridge between ministry andmastery, here is where selfish to sacrificial successionorientations are most obvious for assessment purposes.Selfish to sacrificial orientations Therefore, a candidate successor who is shown tobe selfish in the first two phases, ministry and mediation,is unlikely to be a sacrificial master. Conversely, acandidate successor who has demonstrated a sacrificialorientation in these first two phases has a much greaterpotential to be an altruistic master. Each is more likely tomediate mastery in their respective successions based ontheir selfish to sacrificial ministry orientations. Because of the need to observe potentialsuccessors—in action if possible—long enough duringtheir ministry, mediatory and mastery phases to ascertaintheir sacrificial to selfish motivations or orientations, theprocess of readying sacrificial replacements takes time.The minimum recommended time is three years and it ismore effective to directly observe successional candidatesas they progress through these phases. Given that predecessors should be personallyresponsible for preparing successors, to do that mosteffectively requires candidates be prepared in-house.How to identify the selfish to sacrificial orientations insuccessors are elaborated on more fully in each of theensuing keys. Keep in mind the following diagram as anexample of the succession styles that tend to operate inthe three main transitional stages of a succession. 30 | P a g e
  32. 32. 7KEYS Whether well planned or ad hoc, in a transition there is a pre-succession phase, which occurs prior to the succession event, which comes next. Following that is the post-succession stage, which either does or does not involve replaced leader. SUCCESSION Transitional Succession Stages STYLES Pre-Succession Succession Event Post Succession Transition of Leaves usually with End-of-term Planning ad hoc or authority occurs end- no further succession: systematic of-tenure involvement Planning ad hoc or Transition of Stays on to play an Mid-term systematic authority occurs mid- influential role succession: tenure Ministry of preparing Mediatory sacrifice Mastery by Sacrificial sacrificial successors mid-tenure for advocating for Succession: successors successor success Figure 4: Transitional Succession Phases It suffices to say that in the process of preparing ready replacements keeping these three succession phases or stages top of mind is critical. Particularly important is the first part of the ministry phase where, if possible, the candidates should be unaware that they are being Particularly important is the considered as potential first part of the ministry phase successors. This enableswhere, if possible, the candidate incumbent to evaluate theirshould be unaware that they arebeing considered as successors. motives for serving others before the candidate is conscious that such activities may contribute positively to their chances of being chosen as successor. For a sacrificial succession this ministry of service phase involves two distinct stages. The first is the one just mentioned whereby opportunities to serve others are given to potential successors before they are aware that they are candidates. Enacting this stage at the beginning of the preparation phase is to help ascertain a candidate’s motivations to serve others before he or she has a position or promotion in mind. In some cases, particularly in corporate successions, this assessment may be practically impossible due to a candidate already being in a 31 | P a g e
  33. 33. 7KEYSleadership position, such as management. Similarly,many candidates are appointed directly to leadershippositions from an educational ‘ministry’ at university.With these sorts of managerial appointments, sacrificialqualities are more difficult to ascertain. As such, thesesorts of educational and managerial appointments are notrecommended by the 7Keys. Nevertheless, these successional principles canusually be applied prior to considering candidateeligibility for a consecutive promotion to another level.Next in a ministry stage is to evaluate how a candidateserves others through a leadership position. Bycomparing differences between how candidates ministerto others without expecting a promotion then through aleadership position helps to identify more selfish tosacrificial orientations. These initial successororientations are normally indicative of future ones.Ministry mediates mastery The reason that the ministry phase and its twostages of service prior to and through leadership are soimportant is that they tend to set the scene for the futuremediatory and mastery orientations of a successor.Simply put, ministry mediates mastery. In other words,the way a candidate chooses to minister is the strongestindicator of how they will mediate their successions andmaster in transitions. Keeping the key of overturning orders as therationale for further action, ready replacements are thosethat have been intentionally given ministry opportunitiesthat require serving and sacrificing for others. Asmentioned earlier, it is unfortunate that many successorsfollow technical, educational and managerial ‘ministry’pathways that do not expose them to or require theseministry-of-service experiences. Consequently, many successors mediateprofessional mastery in their fields without ever havinglearned to serve sacrificially in a ministry phase beyondself-serving study and hard work to achieve personalsuccess. Selfishly orientated ministers such as these are 32 | P a g e
  34. 34. 7KEYSmore likely to mediate and master through transitions ina self-interested way. Predictably, such self-interestultimately results in authoritarian successions. Two main succession outcomes can be predicteddepending on successor orientations using the equation:ministry x mediates x mastery = authoritarian or altruisticsuccession. A selfish successor’s ministry orientation willbe predominantly self-serving mediated by familial ormanagerial advancement. An authoritarian mastery ofdynastic or corporate power is the predictable successionoutcome of this self-interested transition. Alternatively, an altruistic succession outcomeinvolves significantly different successor orientations thatare sacrificial and others-serving. An altruistic ministryof service should be mediated by a mid-tenure sacrifice ofleadership specifically for successor success. Staying onpost-succession as successor advocate is anothercharacteristic of a sacrificial successor. An altruisticrather than authoritarian succession outcome ispredicated by this mediatory sacrifice. See the followingdiagram that maps these selfish to sacrificial pathways. Succession Equations SUCCESSION SUCCESSION Ministry (M1) x Mediates (M2) x Mastery (M3) = ORIENTATIONS OUTCOMES Self-serving Sacrifice others for Selfish authority of Selfish: technical or managerial or power and Authoritarian (S1) vocational service familial advancement professionalism Others-serving Self-sacrifice mid- Altruistic advocacy Sacrificial: altruism and tenure for successor with leadership for Altuistic (S2) sacrifice success successors Figure 5: Succession Equations Until the nexus of self-interest is overturned infavour of a sacrificial orientation then selfishly orientatedsuccessors and successions of varying degrees should bethe expected outcome. Keys to changing this status quoof self-interest are shared towards the end of this book.An obvious counterargument to seeking moresacrificially orientated successors is that there may not beenough of them or that they may not be assertive oraggressive enough to be effective masters. 33 | P a g e
  35. 35. 7KEYS Indeed, this is a valid concern if current orders are not overturned. The truth is that if opportunities are given for the last to come first and the correct steps for assessing sacrificial service to others prior to potential successors becoming leaders, then though leadership positions are followed, the right successors can be identified. Recent research into leader self-sacrifice confirms this truth. Sacrificial leaders are shown to be particularly effective when their sacrifice is mediated by a concern for their followers rather than themselves18. Similarly related findings note that sacrificial leaders are able to boost follower performance even if they are atypical of great leaders19. Having a strong professional will and personal humility are found to be two of the most important characteristics of altruistic leaders20. Therefore, one of the keys with finding the right replacements is mapping how potential successors develop as leaders. While it continues to be debated whether leaders are primarily born and bred or nurtured and naturalised into leadership, there is a consensus that effective leaders must develop and mature on the job. Three interrelated phases of Leaders cannot start makingsense of service until they are at dependent, independent andthe dependent or interpersonal interdependent growth are stage of maturity. theorised as leaders mature. Based on these definitions leaders must first learn to depend on others before they can become independent leaders. Following this first phase more mature leaders recognise the need to progress beyond independence. As they mature further, leaders go on to learn interdependence or to be “inter-independent” 21. Applied to the three succession phases of ministry, mediation and mastery, the key question is how potential successors interpret service to and sacrifice for others through each of these progressive phases. While mastery can be equated with maturity, a sacrificial master is completely different to a selfish one. Even the timing of their successions is distinct. With a 34 | P a g e
  36. 36. 7KEYSselfish master, their succession tends to end too late ortoo early, whereas sacrificial masters make theirmediatory sacrifice at the midpoint of a transition. Each of these significant differences betweensacrificial and selfish successors are detailed in the finalchapter. For the purpose of explaining this key ofreadying replacements in successions, the main factor tokeep in mind is that successors develop differentlydepending on their sacrificial to selfish motivations. Tracking a potential successor’s journey throughthese three phases helps reveal their selfish to sacrificialorientations. Following this as a developmentalframework, findings by Kelly Phipps conclude thatleaders cannot start making sense of service until they areat the dependent or interpersonal stage of maturity22.This is primarily because, until then, they are usually notmature enough to have learned to subordinate personalgoals and agendas in the best interests of others.Direct succession relationships On this basis then, potential successors can learn todevelop altruistically through ministry, mediatory andmastery exercises designed to promote and encouragesacrificial rather than selfish service. However, due tothese motivations being unnatural—even strange—preparing ready replacements that are more serviceorientated than power hungry takes time. Remember the rule: ministry mediates mastery.These three distinct, yet related, phases requireincumbent to be directly involved in preparing altruistic,ready replacements. These phases cannot be fast-trackedor circumvented and must be followed through.Observing how a potential successor facilitates theirsuccession through these ministry, mediatory andmastery phases gives a clearer picture of their successionorientations. A particularly important insight into a potentialsuccessor’s sacrificial or selfish orientation is gained if anumber of these succession phases can be observedsuccessively then compared to find indicators of whether 35 | P a g e
  37. 37. 7KEYSthe subject is progressing towards one end of thesacrificial to selfish spectrum more than another. Karl Popper explains that this form of scientificanalysis is based on the probability of “neighbourhoodselection”23. In other words, by studying the linksbetween related elements, certain relationships can beidentified. For example, by ordering primary elements ina numbered sequence. In this case, the order of ministry,mediatory and mastery orientations related to secondarysacrificial and selfish orientations. In so doing, certainneighbourhood relations are created that are observableand predictable. Therefore, in transitions the primary sequence isthese three succession phases and the secondaryrelationships are the sacrificial to selfish links to thesesuccession phases. By comparing the selfish to sacrificialtrack record of potential successors within and betweenmultiple transitions, gives a good indicator of eachcandidate’s succession orientations. See the diagrambelow that compares between four transitions. Comparing Multiple Transitions Transition 1 Transition 2 Potential Ministry Mediation Mastery Ministry Mediation Mastery Successor Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Sacrifices How? How? How? How? How? How?Altruistically Transition 3 Transition 4 or Ministry Mediation Mastery Ministry Mediation MasterySelfishly…? Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No How? How? How? How? How? How? Figure 6: Comparing Multiple Transitions Based on this logic, the more transitionalsequences or successions observed the better the qualityof assessment that can be made about potential successororientations. Comparing each of these relationships overtime is effective triangulation. This exercise in successorassessment and preparation is best done directly byincumbents for their direct successors rather than aleadership collective of professional mentors and coaches. While professionals are helpful, especially inproviding specialist advice, facts and information, theyplay a different role to incumbent as discipler. Because ofthis fundamentally different role and relationship, the 36 | P a g e
  38. 38. 7KEYS earlier use of the word “disciple” was deliberate. It was chosen to describe successional candidates rather than more commonly used words such as trainees, learners or students, etc., because the authenticity of a disciple is defined by their proximity to their predecessor. John N. Williams describes this relational closeness between predecessor and successor as being “true succession” 24. Integral to this idea about true succession is that in some sense predecessor directly influences successor. Along similar, though more poetic lines, goes the Hebrew saying, “May you always be covered by the dust of your rabbi25.” Being a disciple necessitates two things that are especially important for readying replacements. First it requires discipline that: corrects, moulds and perfects the mental faculties and The authenticity of a moral character of the disciple. Second, disciple is defined bytheir proximity to their this sort of discipleship works best when predecessor. modelled by predecessor. With such “direct succession relationships” between predecessor and successor, the primary legitimacy a successor has is due to their direct succession relationship with predecessor. Instead of professional managerial and technical skills or familial and collegial ties being the primary determiners or mediators of successor success, it is their proximity to predecessors that counts. It is worth noting here that enacting direct succession relationships by incumbents readying replacements is regarded by some contemporary leadership studies as being a less effective form of leadership development26. This is because of an assumption that building the bench strength of an overall leadership team is more effective than slating or shortlisting specific candidates as replacements. However, direct succession relationships as defined here are about the direct discipling relationship between incumbent and successor. The aim is two-fold. Build the strength of an overall team of successors and prepare specific successors to take over particular roles. 37 | P a g e
  39. 39. 7KEYS Therefore, direct succession relationships areprimarily about incumbent attitudes towards successorsand vice versa. Remember what the leader said: “I nolonger call you my staff because staff do not know whattheir leaders are doing. Instead I call you my friends,because everything I have learned from my predecessorsI have made known to you.” Treating potentialsuccessors as friends and colleagues rather thansubordinates or staff is a genuine outworking of thissuccessional truth.Conclusion Obviously the potential for abuse in directsuccession relationships is often found in the close tiesnecessary between predecessors and successors for theserelational bonds to occur. This risk factor must beacknowledged. Due to such biases being a problem, inmost successions the rule is that outgoing leaders areusually not involved in the final choice of successors ortend to leave prior to their appointment27. Consequently, few outgoing leaders are directlyinvolved post-succession in advocating for successors.Indeed this is a realistic and pragmatic approach,especially when dealing with leaders proven to beselfishly orientated. However this approach falls short insuccessions for two important reasons. First, outgoing leaders held responsible for theirown successional outcomes have a higher stake in thembeing successful. Second, as will be discussed more in inthe final seventh 7Key, outgoing leaders can have apositive impact post-succession as advocates forsuccessors—both for newly incumbent leaders and thenext generation of successors. On this basis, preparing ready replacements assuccessors requires incumbent to sacrifice their time topersonally prepare successors both pre- and post-succession. This is an integral part of an outgoingleader’s pre-succession ministry phase and post-succession mastery phase of a sacrificial succession. 38 | P a g e
  40. 40. 7KEYSObviously, a reorientation towards personally preparingready replacements may be ‘strange’ for many leaders. Despite these views, research shows that potentialsuccessors value such direct succession relationshipsmore highly than virtually any other forms of leadershipdevelopment28. Incumbents who practice such directsuccession relationships with potential successors willfind this activity personally challenging and rewarding.Strong bonds between incumbent and potentialsuccessors are formed. Similarly, organisations that support predecessorsin this activity of directly preparing ready replacementswill find their leadership pipelines start flowing again. Inclosing this chapter, it must be acknowledged thatpreparing ready replacements through direct successionrelationships between predecessor and successor ispotentially open to abuse. Due to these legitimate concerns, the next twokeys—exposing egos and open oversight deal with thispotential problem of succession biases and favouritismopenly and honestly, with practical suggestions. Despitethese risks of bias in direct succession relationships, ifready replacements that are sacrificial rather than selfishbegin to dominate, then selfish orders can and will beoverturned. To recap, the process of readying replacementsstarts with the ability to see that healthy leadershiptransitions have three distinct phases: pre-succession, asuccession event and post-succession. For a sacrificialsuccession to occur, these three phases involve 1) aministry of altruistic service prior to and throughleadership, 2) the primary mediator of these directsuccession relationships is incumbent leader sacrificingtheir leadership mid-tenure and 3) a mastery of advocacypost-succession by outgoing leader is a continuation ofthis relationship by advocating for newly incumbentleader and readying the next generation of successors. It is important to understand that incumbents andsuccessors mediate each of these transitional phasessacrificially or selfishly. Remember the equation: 39 | P a g e
  41. 41. 7KEYSministry mediates mastery? As a rule, if a sacrificialsuccession is not deliberately enacted then, by default, amore authoritarian succession that is either familially ormanagerially orientated is the most likely outcome. Because each potential successor goes through anumber of transitional ministry, mediatory and masteryphases in their lifetimes, tracking and comparingsequences of these transitions is important to ascertainselfish to sacrificial successor orientations. By comparingwithin and between these transitions, the altruistic to self-interested progression of a potential successor can beascertained and tracked. The next key of exposing egos is particularlyhelpful for providing insights into the sacrificial to selfishbehaviour, progression and regression of potentialsuccessors. It exposes the selfish sacrifices that aspiringsuccessors are willing to make and explains how to dealwith such potential conflicts in a positive way. To practically apply the main points of this chapterin preparing altruistic ready replacements in asuccession, keep these main factors in mind:1. Make sure the pre-succession is long enough to observe first-hand how potential successors serve others prior to and through leadership.2. Note the importance of comparing these two distinct aspects of a ministry of service over a number of transitions if possible.3. Ensure that the primary mediator of direct succession relationships is incumbent leader who intentionally prepares sacrificial successors.4. Ready replacements are prepared for a transition because of being informed in advance of the succession timeline by incumbent.5. Use the succession equation: ministry mediates mastery to check the sacrificial to selfish progress of potential successors over a number of transitions. 7Keys. 40 | P a g e
  42. 42. 7KEYS 7Keys-3 Expose Egos“I have paid the price of your succession. Youare now ready to succeed me. Now I will goback to see which of the others are ready” –Leader There was a leader with three followers. One daythey came to him asking, “What must we do to succeedyou?” The Leader answered, “Are you ready?” The firstfollower replied, “I think so.” The second, answered, “Ibelieve so.” The last replied, “Not yet.” “Follow thisroad,” the Leader said, pointing into the distance.Eventually you will come to three gates. The first and largest gate has written on it oneword: ‘MASTER’. By entering it you will masterwhatever you try. On the next and second largest gateyou will find inscribed ‘MEDIATOR’. Upon entering ityou will be able to mediate whatever you want. The lastand smallest gate is imprinted with the word ‘MINISTER’and upon entering it you will be able to minster towhomever you choose. Remember to select carefully, their Leader said,your successions depend on it.” Following the road, thefirst of the three followers arrived at the three gates andthought, “If I master everything, I can do just aboutanything…” Entering the largest gate the followerbecame ‘Master’. Next to arrive was the second follower,who thought, “If I can mediate between anybody I can dojust about everything.” Entering the second gate he became ‘Mediator’.Last to arrive was the third follower. Looking at the threegates he thought, “I am not ready to master or mediate,but maybe I can serve my leader.” He entered the third 41 | P a g e
  43. 43. 7KEYSand smallest gate and became ‘Minister’. Each went ontheir respective journeys using their chosen strengths. Eventually each arrived at a great river too wide tocross. Looking around each saw the other and theirleader standing looking across to the other side. “Wemust cross the river”, the Leader said. While they werestanding looking at the vast expanse of water, a smallboat with a rough looking boatman appeared. “I onlytake two passengers at a time and one stays with me aspayment for the other’s passage to the other side,” theBoatman growled. Each looked at the other. Master spoke first, “Boatman, as Master I can offeryou either Mediator or Minister as my payment”.Mediator followed by saying, “As Mediator, I can offeryou Master or Minister for my passage.” “But which ofyou are willing to sacrifice yourself for the other? Onlyone of you will set foot on the other side; the other mustremain as my payment,” reminded the Boatman. Remaining silent, both Master and Mediator shooktheir heads. Finally, Minister spoke to his leader, “Asyour servant, I will sacrifice myself for your passage asmy ministry to you.” The Leader and Boatman noddedin agreement. Off they set, leaving Master and Mediatorarguing about who should pay for the other’s passage. Soon they were nearing the opposite bank.“Remember our deal”, Boatman threatened, “one of youmust sacrifice your passage for the other.” As the boatbumped the bank, Minister bowed his head, accepting hisfate. Suddenly he felt himself being lifted onto dry land. “No!” Minister cried, “I did this for you.” TheLeader replied, “Everything I have learned from myLeader I have made known to you. I have paid the priceof your succession. You are now ready to succeed me.Now I will go back to see which of the others is ready.”Successor characteristics Three Gates is an analogy about succession as thehandover of leadership. It shows the characteristics ofleadership successors. Any would-be successor shouldbe able to recognise more of themselves in one of these 42 | P a g e
  44. 44. 7KEYS characters than the others. Peel away the platitudes and these characteristics are also evident in their fellow leadership competitors. Anyone who has ever been involved in or with a leadership succession knows how competitive such a contest can be. There are spoken and unspoken arguments about who is the greatest. Getting someone close to the leader to put in a good word for you, like a family member, friend or colleague is a common ploy, especially in dynastic successions. Another effective tactic, if used with tact, is taking the direct approach and personally seeking special favours. Being willing to serve and even sacrifice in anticipation of meriting special favour is also a key strategy of selfish leadership successors. When we hear about these selfish behaviours most of us become indignant, right? Yet if we are honest we have all played these games or thought about playing them. Most leadership successors are defined by the succession orientations exemplified by Master and Mediator in Three Gates. Even Ministers, in most Being willing to serve andeven sacrifice in anticipation cases, serve with self-interest inof meriting special favour is mind. In other words, they servealso a key strategy of selfish with expectation. This selfish, leadership successors. ultimately authoritarian, behaviour is the antithesis of the sacrificial leadership succession enacted by the Leader. Instead, in Three Gates, minister showed by his willingness to altruistically serve and sacrifice for his leader glimpses of genuine servant leadership. However, in Three Gates, the real game changer was the sacrifice by the Leader of his leadership for his successor’s success. This definition of sacrificial succession is the main topic of the last key. For the purposes of exposing egos, Three Gates emphasises that successors act sacrificially or selfishly or somewhere in between. Adam Smith (1723- 1790) in “The Wealth of Nations” argues that self-interest is the mediating characteristic separating the two29. 43 | P a g e
  45. 45. 7KEYS Smith says few people act sacrificially without self- interest, yet are of better character than those who are motivated by purely selfish ends. Similarly, ministry, mediatory and mastery characteristics can be interpreted by successors selfishly or sacrificially as Three Gates shows. While selfish interpretations are the rule, the strange exception is a sacrificial interpretation of each characteristic. This involves a ministry of service to others by both predecessors and successors, the mediatory sacrifice of leadership by incumbents for successors and their ongoing The reason for his failure, mastery of advocacy post-according to his boss, was that he succession for successors.had focused on physical qualities A key requirement is that alland mental faculties rather than potential successors must undergo the moral character and ethical conduct of the candidates. a sacrificial ministry phase before they can go on to mediate and master in leadership. Because these days, many potential successor ‘ministries’ consist of technical, educational and managerial expertise, they have seldom learned to minister sacrificially. Naturally they tend to mediate selfishly. Heart before head Therefore, before a sacrificial succession can be enacted, it is crucial to expose selfish and sacrificial egos. To do this the focus of successor assessments must first and foremost be on a potential successor’s character rather than their mental faculties or physical attributes. The following true story explains this different use of priorities in choosing successors well. A senior manager was charged by his boss with the job of choosing a successor to replace an underperforming leader. An experienced manager of men, he chose a group of candidates who physically looked the part for the job and passed all the psychological tests. His checklist included assessments of their 1) physical appearance, presentation and style, 2) positional 44 | P a g e
  46. 46. 7KEYSpower, standing and status, 3) physical dimensions suchas height and stature, and 4) their personal mental andspiritual faculties. All passed with flying colours,particularly the first candidate who the manager was surewould be accepted by his leader. He was the “one”! You can imagine, then, the manager’s surprisewhen his boss rejected his first choice as candidate andhis shock when his leader informed him that none of hisshort-listed candidates qualified as successors. Thereason for his failure, according to his boss, was that hehad focused on physical qualities and mental facultiesrather than the moral character and ethical conduct of thecandidates. This manager is not alone in making thismistake when choosing successors. In most cases, the first four physical and mentalqualities receive the most attention. For example, inmany Eastern cultures, points one and two usuallydominate. Status and standing often take precedenceover physical and psychological attributes. Westernersconsider point one and prefer point four in particular.The predominance of personality tests and assessing giftsand strengths is indicative of this focus. The point madeby this story is that when considering leadershipsuccessors heart before head must apply.Bred or built? If not, then the wrong successors are likely to bechosen because of an overemphasis on favouredpersonalities and physiques and an under-emphasis oncharacter and conduct. Obviously the steps that themanager took were helpful in characterising hiscandidates. These methods are commonly employedtoday because of the recognition that there is an integrallink between the physical and psychological. People areboth bred and built. Therefore, the manager was right to look at thephysical style and standing of the candidates and inassuming that some traits, such as personality, areinborn. Equally, attributes built on through lifeexperiences were also tested. Research supports both 45 | P a g e

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