40 years in the Desert – Advice for Leaders Taking the Helm and Those Whose Helm is being Taken

Happy Passover. Story goes: Jews escaped slavery and spent 40 years finding “the Promised Land.”

A popular idea on why it took so long: the generation that escaped were slaves. The generation after that was prepared to lead the new world. People found leadership abilities only after shedding the slave mentality.

When a change in staff or board leadership occurs, it is incumbent upon the incumbent organizational leaders to adapt, not the other way around. You didn’t hire (or elect) a “new” former leader. You hired an exemplary individual with different (but complementary) values, aspirations, and ideas. Shed the mentality of an organization run by the previous leader. That culture vanished when that person left.

If you’re the new leader, remember that you were hired to lead on your terms. Your feet won’t fit in someone else’s footprints.


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