Positions of leadership be it in the secular or in the sacred world have one common denominator i.e. success comes by succession. Because of life’s limitations no one can be in any position forever, although some tried but died. If you succeed someone in any position be assured that there is also someone who shall succeed you in the future. Truth be told; no one is indispensable or irreplaceable. What is important is to faithfully serve in the position you are and facilitate your exit thereafter. Paul says it all, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith’. Leadership is like a short relay where you run your given distance and pass on the baton to the next person. Great leaders train their successors and they pass on the baton peacefully well knowing that success comes by succession. I am indebted to mention my mentor Rev Dr Phineas Dube who was our National Director during my Scripture Union days in Zimbabwe. He led in the following organisations and he never overstayed his welcome: Scripture Union Zimbabwe, Abundant Life for All (ALFA), Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Zambuko Trust, Domboshawa Theological College, World Vision Africa, Haggai Institute International, Greenhouse Leadership Trust etc. Indeed this great Man of God taught me early in life not to outlive my usefulness in any position of leadership but rather to grow leaders for the next generation. It is foolhardy for any leader worth his salt to die without leaving a godly legacy for the next generation of successors. Check out your reactions to a few leadership nuggets about overstaying your usefulness:
1) When a person holds a position for too long, they think they own it
2) When a person holds a position for too long, they become resistant to change
3) When a person holds a position for too long, they become sensitive to anyone intruding their so-called territory
4) When a person holds a position for too long, they become resistant to suggestions or constructive criticism
5) When a person holds a position for too long, they develop dictatorial and autocratic tendencies
6) When a person holds a position for too long, they think they are untouchable, indispensable and irreplaceable
7) When a person holds a position for too long, they find it difficult to let go or to willingly pass on the baton to the next team player.