Succession And Retirement

Recently I had the privilege of hearing the great and wise Peter Wagner speak during a conference held during Passover. I know, you’re probably thinking this is a bit late to be telling someone about something that happened weeks ago, but bear with me. The reason I bring this up now is that I was looking back on some of what I shared last year and noticed that something he spoke about this year was right in line with what I shared this time last year. Part of Mr. Wagner’s message dealt with creative retirement versus reactive retirement. My topic last year was Retirement: Where Many Go to DieI just want to share just a few points today that I took away from what he shared, that just adds so much more to what I was trying to get across this time last year.

Peter Wagner

Peter Wagner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mr. Peter Wagner listed eight personal goals to accomplish as a Christian leader if you’d like to consider yourself as a person who finished well, with emphasis by me:

  1. Cultivate a Mature Christian Character: Christian or not, I believe that this is one point where everyone can benefit. Having mature character goes a long way to establishing you as one who is dependable, trustworthy, and someone whom someone can model themselves after. As a leader or not, your legacy is clearly defined by what you model before others.
  2. Manage Your Succession: One thing that keeps people from being seen as successful is that they don’t establish succession properly. Whether it’s not having one, or not having the right one, it can lead to trouble in the long run for whatever you have left as your legacy. You have to put great thought into the where’s, who’s, the why’s, the when’s and how’s of your succession.
  3. Learn to Be Number 2: What I loved about this point from Peter Wagner is that he makes it known that if you establish someone to succeed you in your position, you have to let them be the leader. Once you’ve stepped away from your position, let the new sherriff run things. You can advise, but know your position.
  4. Get Your Finances in Order: So many people aren’t comfortable when it comes to this point, but having a plan in place to handle your finances appropriately is essential, no matter who you are or what age you are. If you’re retiring, things have to be in order for things to go smoothly. Peter mentions that this includes honoring the next generation, which can be done by obtaining a good financial planner, a family attorney, and a tax attorney
  5. Keep Learning: I’ve mentioned in other posts that to stop learning is likened to a slow death. No matter how old you get, keep on learning to keep on growing. There’s always something new. Technology is always changing. While some things may not seem so important to you, it could become the very thing that keeps you relevant to an ever evolving society. 
  6. Make Time for People: I think this is one area that many people fail in also. Once you are out, you have the time available, make use of that time to help someone else avoid the pitfalls that you had to deal with so they dont have to repeat the errors. Live and enjoy good times with people.
  7. Write Your Memoirs: Peter mentions that this is not something that is to be viewed as ego or pride. This is to be seen as intergenerational impartation. You can share with another generation all of the things that you might not be able to tell them in a single conversation. More importantly, don’t wait till the end of your life to record these things. Write early and often.
  8. Plan Time for Leisure: The key to longevity is not wearing yourself out. Leisure keeps your strength, your mind, and your spirit renewed.

I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again. I don’t intend on retiring as some would define retirement. However, a creative retirement might not be so far from something I’d consider, because in the end, your legacy is secured by what you do until it’s been successfully passed down.

QUESTION: How do you feel about your succession and retirement? What does that look like for you?


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