Passing the Baton
How leaders ensure continuity and seal their legacy
The most recent JSA blog ended by mentioning Nelson Mandela and his 27-year imprisonment, which helped him to prepare to be the leader of the new South Africa in 1994. What it did not mention was the incredible fact that after waiting so long, he served only one five-year term before making way for his deputy, Thabo Mbeki.
Not only do great global leaders take responsibility and decisive action during their reigns of power but they also ensure that their good work will continue long after they are gone by carefully planning for their succession and grooming their successors.
A recent example of this comes from the most popular sport in the world: football (or soccer as it is known in the USA).
Last month, Sir Alex Ferguson, who is one of most well known, successful and feared managers on the planet, suddenly announced his retirement as the coach of Manchester United, which is in turn one of the richest and most widely followed teams in the universe. It has no less than 14 different nations represented in its first team squad. (No hyperbole here, of course, although this blogger does need to confess that he has been a rabid fan of his home town club for most of his 54 years).