Succession Planning and Sir Isaac Newton
Apr 20, 2012
From Legacy Moment (04/13/2012). Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.
The laws of man are artificial creations. Spiritual laws are based on unquantifiable faith. Yet the laws of nature are absolute and undeviating.
Three hundred years ago, Sir Isaac Newton defined the laws of gravity and planetary motion. He also detailed three unconditional laws of nature that apply to every facet of life -- including succession planning.
Newton’s First Law of Motion ("An object at rest tends to remain at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion") and Second Law of Motion ("The acceleration of an object is dependent on the net force acting on the object and the mass of the object") can apply equally well to succession planning. I’ll let you think about how.
But Newton’s Third Law -- "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" -- is of even greater importance.
As a succession planning professional, a large part of my job is to encourage action. After years of effort, I’ve come to realize that inaction is often based in deep-seated fear about engaging in the succession planning process.
But if Newton is right when he says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, then isn’t the "act" of fear countered by an opportunity? For every low there’s a high, and for every effort there’s a reward. You may find that your fears become catalysts:
• A loss of control may be translated to the motivation necessary for leadership development.
• Change may be the incentive for improvement.
• Commitment often leads to action.
Farmers live by the laws of nature. Use Newton’s Third Law to realize the benefits innate in the hesitation of planning for succession.
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Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS