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Unresolved Issues: A Hidden Barrier to Building a Succession Planning Team


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Unresolved issues can kill your succession planning team.

After you begin to confront your fears in succession planning, the next step is to build a team around you who will carry on your purpose in your absence.


But before you can effectively build your team, there’s a crucial aspect that many senior leaders overlook - the impact of their unresolved issues on their ability to lead and inspire others.


I have written in the past about how, for twenty years, I carried the heavy weight of anger and resentment toward a person who had tried to bully me for refusing to serve on his board. As a person in a position of power, verbally abusing others was his modus operandi.


Unexpectedly, running into this man at the grocery store years later, I confessed my resentment and asked for forgiveness. He did not even remember the incident. Treating people this way was a habit that had rewarded him.


The immediate release I felt within me was unmistakable. What had been a major liability on my life’s balance sheet vanished in an instant. Resolving this unreconciled relationship unleashed a surge of energy in every aspect of my life, highlighting the negative power that such issues can have on our well-being and productivity.


This experience taught me that unresolved issues not only hinder our personal growth but also impede our ability to build a strong team for succession planning. As senior leaders, we must recognize that our energy and emotional state directly impact those around us. If we are weighed down by unresolved conflicts and negative emotions, it becomes challenging to inspire, motivate, and lead our team effectively.


Moreover, unaddressed issues can create an atmosphere of tension and mistrust within the team. If a leader harbors resentment or anger, it can manifest in their interactions with team members, leading to a breakdown in communication and collaboration. This, in turn, undermines the very foundation of a successful succession planning process, which relies on open, honest, and supportive relationships.


It is precisely because of this that Meagan McCoy, impactful CEO of McCoy building products has a weekly check-in with her 8 direct reports each Monday morning; if there is any unresolved conflict, everything stops until that issue is resolved so that the team can move on.


Remember, never remain “stuck” in the quagmire of unresolved issues. Confront them, seek resolution, and watch as your energy levels soar, empowering you to build a powerful team that will ensure the long-term success of your organization.


Harry T. Jones


P.S. Mastermind group #1 is sold out and starts this month. We are building a waiting list for the next Cultivating Impact succession planning mastermind. We meet virtually as a group monthly and you have access to me privately. If you are interested in having me and eight others in your corner as you navigate leaving a legacy, reply to this email and let me know.

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