Succession begins before we assume a position of leadership, not when we get ready to leave it," writes David McKenna. Instead of focusing narrowly on how a leader can maximize his or her role, McKenna illuminates a leader's place within the grand scope of an organization's history and mission. "A leader," McKenna informs, "builds upon the past, gives momentum to the present, and leaves the promise of greater things to come."
To illustrate this "Succession Principle," McKenna points to "The Greatest Succession Story Ever Told"-that of John the Baptist preparing the way and then stepping aside for Jesus. Artfully weaving together the example of John the Baptist and wisdom gleaned from his own 50 years as pastor, educator, and executive in higher education, McKenna lays out 12 succinct rules of succession, guiding both new and experienced leaders from topics such as: building upon your organization's history and contributing to its ongoing story, perceiving the signals that tell when it's time to step aside, transferring loyalty from yourself to your successor, managing your emotions during your transition, rejoicing in a job well done and celebrating your successor, letting history be your judge. McKenna shows us how to be servant-leaders who prepare the way for greater things.