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Over the last several months a recurring topic has been surfacing more and more among both clients and the attendees that have been in my seminars.

Both Chiefs of Service and Board of Director members are making similar statements: “I’m not going to be in this position forever, in fact I’m only going to be around another couple of years…I’m scared about who will take over.  No one is stepping up.”

My answer is always the same, “What are you doing to really encourage them?”  Most agencies do not have a strategic plan, almost none have a formal leadership mentoring program and in very few organizations are the people in the current leadership roles willing to share power, delegate tasks to help potential future leaders learn.

It’s a vicious circle…no one steps up because they know they won’t be mentored, therefore no one is able to mentored because the culture squashes the desire to step up.

Every leaders primary long-term job is to create a succession plan, train others to accept responsibility with the knowledge to do the job.  In emergency services of all places, we know how fleeting life can be.  Yet we are more resistant to sharing information for the continuity of the organization than most.

There is an old saying…you gain more power by giving it away.  As you build a team of people, delegate tasks to them and mentor them as they grow…let them try, fail and learn.

Easier said than done you say?  Start by looking in the mirror and asking yourself if you are really setting the stage to help another future leader grow?  Can you give up some of your power?  Do you always need to get the glory, the plaque and the recognition?   If you need the limelight to feel good about yourself, you are not ready to mentor others.

So the starting point is with you.  What do you need to develop within your leadership team?  How soon do they need to be ready based on your personal goals?  And, are you ready to begin letting go?

Coaching, mentoring and identifying talent is how winning teams grow and maintain success year over year.  Start now to develop more depth on the bench.

Need some help?  Let’s talk about your situation.

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