Happy New Year everybody! 2009 is here and I am very excited about the challenges of a new year. I have been watching football all day. I am a huge college football fan and this week of bowls is GREAT, I love every minute of it and the only thing that could make it better would be a college football playoff. I want to see USC play again against Florida or Texas!
Watching the Rose Bowl today and watching Joe Paterno coach from the press box, never coming to the field during pregame, never going to the locker room at the half, never interacting with his team, made me ask as a leader how long is too long. Can a great leader stay too long at the helm of an organization, a team, a company, a church? I feel leaders can stay too long. Leaders never stop leading but our titles and roles change and must change as we age. There is an art to passing on leadership to the next generation. There is a time to move on and age is only one factor. The roles we have are a gift from God and from the people we lead. None of us get to say we have earned our position and we get to stay as long as we like. That way of thinking places our wants and wishes ahead of the organization. All of us need to finish strong and we need to plan to finish strong! If we are blessed to lead an organization long enough we also need to pray through how we empower the next leader also. SO, can a leader stay too long? what do ya think? Has Coach Paterno stayed too long?
I love coach Paterno and am glad to still see him around. Has he stayed to long? Maybe. I think the key would be seen within the organization and in their results. The question for me would be if he is preparing the team should he leave suddenly, which can happen for any of us, but especially and 82 year old with medical problems.
One of the challenges today is that people are working, living, and staying active longer, so this is going to become more common. This question came up with Brett Favre also. (in a different context of course) The answer to your question may be different in a few years that it is today.
Now, when I read this, I’m not thinking just football. I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you. I’m thinking churches, and organizations, and businesses. I think the question is valid. Again though, I think you have to look at the health of the organization and the results that long-term leadership is providing. Also, the longer the person stays, the longer the recovery period will be for his or her replacement.
Good post and sorry to get so philosophical.
love it ron love it