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Thank you for the thoughtful (and sometimes intense) replies to my last email.

I clearly struck a nerve with some folks. 

Some people said the message came at a perfect time. Others said, it came as a surprise, but they really needed to hear it. A few of you outright rejected what I said. LOL.

Either way, it’s okay. I wanted to make sure I said it now before we get to the end of this year. I wanted to give you plenty of time to think about your Interminable Leadership Prevention Strategy.

What do I mean? If you have been in your role for more than 10 years, you need to have a prevention strategy to avoid the leadership perils of staying in a role too long.

There are lots of them. Here are my top seven. 

7 Perils of Leaders Who Stay Too Long

  1.  You can get too comfortable in the role and lose your sharpness.
  2.  You can forget to make room for newer and younger leaders.
  3.  You can lose touch with the people you lead.
  4.  People may grow to not like you as much as they thought they once did.
  5.  You can become indistinguishable from the work you do. 
  6.  Your skills and competency begin to decline but you don’t notice it.
  7.  You can become a selfish, insecure, controlling and ‘know-it-all” leader.

Now that you know the perils of what can happen when you stay too long. I want to give you three action steps to help you thrive in your role until you can develop a real succession strategy.

These are three steps that I have used over the years to prepare myself and my organization for a transition. I hope it helps you.

Three Steps to Thrive as a Long Time Leader 

Step 1:  Spend 3 to 5 hours a week meeting with people who have been in your organization for less than 3 years. This will help you meet and learn from people who have a fresh perspective about your work.

Step 2:  Take the opportunity to pull back from meetings that you have led or managed for more than 5 years. This will provide other people with the opportunity to lead and manage the process. This encourages others to step up in your place.

Step 3:  Identify seven high-potential and high-performing leaders who are at least two levels below you in the organization. Provide one year of professional mentoring and coaching to them. Help them to become better leaders for the long-term health of your organization.

I think knowing these seven perils and taking these three steps to thrive can be a game-changer for you. Plus, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.



PS – I want you to know that Peril #7 is the most dangerous of them all. Please avoid this at all costs. For more information and to help you understand it more, check out this video that I posted last year about S.I.C.K. LEADERS.

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