Drop Dead …

Of course, the name alone of this meeting had my attention …

“You are cordially invited to attend the Drop-Dead Conference”


The setup was simple.   Each director and vice presidential level person was to attend and invite one person who was the answer to this question:

Who would step into your place if you God forbid died…?

The harder questions came next:

If the answer is “Nobody”, what are you doing about this?

If you can name someone, how ready are they?

What do they still need?

What are you doing to make sure they can succeed?

This was our introduction to succession planning, a very important and often misunderstood aspect of leadership.  In fact, most of us put all our effort in this regard to using a very straight-forward process:

1)  Identify one person to take over “some day”.

2)  Pray that they learn how to lead and manage by osmosis or magic.

3)  Focus on what you’ll do next or when you retire.

4)  Act surprised at the “unexpected” outcome.

Sound familiar?

When I was a young worker, I learned a valuable lesson:  How you leave a job says a lot about you.  The lesson was learned while watching a parade of other people quit or get fired from relatively low-paying jobs in retail over a period of years.  Some people were responsible, mature, and covered their bases, while others vented, stewed, simply split, and so on.

At the time, I thought it just applied to my personal behavior when leaving a position or an organization.

It’s about how you leave your responsibilities.

Are they in good hands?

Bonus:  The same questions work for individuals and solopreneurs, with a little tweaking:

What would you do if everything you have went away today?

What do you need that you do not currently have in order to cope with this possibility?

What are you doing about this?

So many questions, so little time … get busy:)

Putting a plan in place in the Heartland ….


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