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Summer 2015


The theme for Summer 2015 is “Succession.”

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Replacing the CEO

The board’s leadership in succession planning

One of the most important responsibilities of a ministry board is replacing its retiring CEO. While this event presents huge ministry opportunities, it can also be disruptive and filled with emotion, politicking and hurt feelings.

Sooner or later every ministry faces this challenge and how it is managed will have repercussions for years to come.

The specific steps to replace a retiring lea...

Sources & Resources

Books to Consider…

Great insights on leadership succession, hiring, team building and more!

The Succession Principle: How leaders make leaders
By David L. McKenna
(Cascade Books, 2014)
Succession is a hot topic in leadership development, and as a college, university and seminary president who experienced three successions in leadership, Dr. David McKenna is eminently qualified to speak on the subje...

Strategic Succession

Preparing leaders for a strong future

For more than a decade, leaders have been talking about the strategic role of “talent management.” A friend told me he was taking a new role as a global talent manager for a Fortune 100 company. He said the leaders at his organization believed that talent management was their next competitive advantage.

This focus on talent management takes on even greater significance if you look at the changing gener...

Succession Doesn’t Guarantee Success

“In history’s judgment, leaders are only as good as the successors they groom.”
The Economist, March 28, 2015

These words evaluate Rwandan president Paul Kagame, viewed as one of the most successful presidents in African history. He brought leadership to end genocide in 1994 and guided the rebuilding of his country into health, wealth and education beyond what it knew before. And yet, he has reputedly chased away, fired or exi...

Succession in Christian Leadership

The gift of greater things

Succession in Christian leadership is a drama with a cast of three characters — the governing board, the departing leader and the incoming successor. Although each of these characters has a unique role to play in the drama, they share the common responsibility for continuing the mission, developing the leadership and advancing the ministry of the organization they represent. Succession in Christian leadership is the thread that r...

A Winning Transition Plan

After more than 20 years as pastor of Christ Fellowship Church in South Florida, the church he founded and grew to a multisite church of more than 40,000 people meeting on seven
campuses around South Florida and online around the world, Tom Mullins passed the baton of leadership to his son Todd. As Tom was transitioning out of this role, he was also stepping into a new one, as president of EQUIP Leadership, a nonprofit organization specializing in training and mobilizing effective ...

Succession Planning

Ensuring successful ministry leadership transitions

Some, like Frances Kunreuther in Up Next: Generation Change and the Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2005), began to study the effect of the generational change from the retiring Baby Boomers to Generations X and Y. The social movements of the 1960s and 1970s catapulted Boomers to the leadership of the surging number of nonprofits, as detailed by Tom Adams in Found...

Building Winners

Five steps for targeted staff development

Many years ago, when I heard the term succession management, I immediately thought of the 9-Box Model. This model plots team members in one of nine boxes based on their performance (high/medium/low) and their potential (high/medium/low). The 9-Box Model makes it easy to identify “A-players.” After all, that is where organizations should focus their investments, at least according to what I learned in graduate...

Succession Planning

Your organization’s long-term health depends on it.

One of the most successful examples of leadership transition was the transition of power from Moses to Joshua. Moses recognized Joshua’s inherent leadership qualities early on. He gave him opportunities to develop his skills, personally mentored him, entrusted him with increasingly sensitive tasks and exposed Joshua to his interactions with God on Mt. Sinai. Over a period of 40 years, Joshua earned ...

Christian Influence

Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury on evangelicals, culture and leadership

CLA President and CEO Tami Heim recently interviewed Gregory Alan Thornbury, Ph.D., president of The King’s College in New York City. He has been called “Jonathan Edwards Meets Rolling Stone” by Russell D. Moore and “America’s First Hipster College President” by The American Spectator.Thornbury previously served as professor of philosophy...