Succession Planning

Travel is good for the soul, but it's great to be back.

Research has shown that returning home after travel is the best time to implement changes, as our routines are disrupted and we have had new experiences to bring fresh perspectives. (Please let me know if you find this research, my quick search did not turn it up and I know I've read it many times!)

I have spent the past 31 days traveling across the country to Colorado, Vermont, Boston, and Florida. Three trips were to deliver work programs, and one was to Vermont for vacation in-between. For me, I seem to be returning with much mental energy and fresh ideas, but this mountain of work that awaits seems to have other plans! I am being pulled to write, which feels wonderful and I am striking while the iron is hot. 

I was privileged to help deliver 3 different types leadership development programs/workshops this past month, and I'm brimming with collected tidbits of tricks and wisdom from these experiences and inspiration osmosis from incredible leaders at each.

One of these is the idea of being and having two informal mentors, one younger and one older. I love this idea! I realize I have already been practicing this but now will be more intentional about it. As my generation moves out of the "youngest" category, I find myself more and more around younger people at work, and though at first it was a bit strange, I now embrace it because I really do have much to offer in informal knowledge sharing that people have so generously taught me (and equally have so much to learn!). I have one younger friend, by about a decade, at the office that I have had loads of fun sharing my tips, tricks, and thoughts with. He in turn has done the same for me, and it's been enlightening and refreshing to have this type of no-stakes, mutually beneficial relationship with a colleague. I've done the same with role models who have paved the way, decades older... Remain open and seek these relationships out. We hear about "succession planning," but I don't hear much about practicing it on a daily basis. We need to teach others and pass on what we have learned, and the older I get the more I see the great importance of this.

The other concept behind this is that even the coach needs a coach! Every successful person has a coach, mentors, mentees, and a personal board of directors to bounce ideas off of and to motivate them. 

I'll stop there for now. What are your experiences with informal mentoring, both down and up?

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View from my balcony on Amelia Island, FL for an RWJF ENF Alumni Meeting last week

*Original post on Linked In Pulse here