Succession Planning in Personal Life:
The term “succession planning” calls to mind the notion of passing on … making preparation for the next generation … making provision for those who will follow. On a personal level, it calls to mind what type of legacy do I wish to leave behind for my children … the next generation?
If you’re like me and have no children of your own, there is still “a call” to have impact; to have made a difference; to offer a contribution of my own creation, that will become the echo “I have been here”. This contribution need not be limited to those things having to do with the financial consideration of a Will or a private Foundation and may lean more to considerations of: “How do I wish to engage and build my relationship with those who will remain? What can they learn from me in terms of developing the quality of their own lives?”
What have I mirrored or reflected to them so that they have been left feeling resourceful, self-reliant, creative? Do they really know that they have choice to create on their own? Do they feel that they can thrive on their own uniqueness; their own creative talents? Do I embrace, support and encourage that uniqueness and individuality even when it does not map to what “society” or what my limited beliefs and “cultural conditioning” calls acceptable, reasonable, safe and familiar?
What am I reflecting to them, when I engage in habits or activities or stick to relationships that may no longer be working and are in fact detrimental? Have I trapped myself and them in a case of, “monkey see, monkey do?” Do they feel that they have an opportunity to engage life differently and to carve out for themselves their own meaningful lives?
What are the skills and tools that I am passing on to them in order that they might be able to create, innovate, re-shape, re-define, a rapidly evolving, highly unpredictable, highly uncertain, highly uncontrollable world? Is it any wonder that at times they question: “why am I here?” “Does my life really matter or make a difference?”
What do I want my relationship with the next generation to look like? How do I build a platform for the sustainability and growth of that relationship over time?
Do I have an unwavering commitment to my own continuous growth, evolution and new discoveries about myself?
I believe it is never too late. Our growth and evolution is not to be found in the “quick fix” and having the ready answers to the questions posed. Rather it is to be found in our willingness to consider how else might I choose to live my life? And in terms of succession planning in my personal life, the question becomes, how else might I choose to engage my relationship with the next generation today?
Here are some practical tips for you to pause and consider in this moment:-
- What are the shared values that you have when you look at the people in your life … when you think of those that are close to you?
- Do you recognize shared beliefs, values and attitudes? Where are they the same and where are they different?
- How effective are you in having a conversation to bridge the gap?
- Are you willing to engage in or even entertain, such a conversation? Do you silence yourself, or can you de-cloak and reveal your own uncertainties, fears and lack of answers?
Re-awaken; re-connect; re-define; re-claim. A personal pause … like breathing … is good.