“The ultimate leader is not afraid to develop people to the point they surpass him or her in knowledge and ability.” ~ Fred A. Manske, Jr.
Hopefully your vision and mission in life are much bigger than yourself. God-sized visions and missions are global and generational in their potential. They can keep growing and expanding even after our leadership ends. If you can accomplish your vision by yourself in your lifetime, you have a very small vision. It is so much more fulfilling to be a small part of something big than all of something small.
You are giving the best years of your life to lead your organization. How will your leadership influence continue when you are no longer the leader? All good leaders plan for the next generation of leaders to build on their shoulders and take their vision to new heights after they’re gone. This was true of Moses. He poured his life and leadership into Joshua for over 40 years to prepare him to continue the vision and mission God had given to Moses. Joshua was a welled prepared “next generation leader.”
Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you… No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. (Joshua 1:2-5 NLT)
God works in the midst of God-sized visions that honor Him. As Christian leaders, we need to be aware of God’s eternal purpose and plan. We must yield ourselves and our own egos to how He wants to accomplish His work both during and after our leadership. This was true of Moses. He spent 80 years of his life with the mission of getting the children of Israel out of slavery and into the Promised Land. He got them right to the goal line and God decided it was time to change quarterbacks.
There is no indication that Moses was bitter when he came up short of the final goal. In fact, everything indicates that Moses died in peace knowing that he was leaving the reigns of his leadership in the capable hands of Joshua. After all, he had prepared Joshua for this day.
Think big when it comes to your mission and vision. Let me encourage you to be very intentional in identifying and pouring yourself into the next generation of leaders who will carry your torch forward. When you plan for succession, you plan for success.
Invest in next generation leaders today and rest in the assurance that, if you train them well, they will carry your work further than you could ever have taken it by yourself. That’s succession for success.