Wise advice tends to repeat. When it appears a third time, pay close attention.
Two years shy of his term limit, the board chair of an organization I led shared plans to step off the board. This person, a Fortune 500 chairman, had hired me and then mentored me in nonprofit leadership. I wore disappointment on my face as I asked, “Why?”
“Rotating leadership is healthy for an organization,” he explained. “The ideas stay fresh when seasons change.”
For selfish reasons, this logic made no sense. Because of the source, though, I trusted it to be true. Many years later, the topic reappeared when I sensed the end approaching to my season as CEO. Upon sharing my plan to step down, many people asked “Why?” My explanation met far more resistance than the similar one I received nearly a decade earlier. Until I met with a board member who served in executive leadership for a prestigious financial company. After listening to me, she offered congratulations. “Too many leaders ignore their instincts and stay longer than they should, and that’s a disservice to everyone. Well done in recognizing the need for a season change.”
Receptivity or popularity do not serve as necessary ingredients to wise decisions.
What about the “third time” mentioned earlier? Look no further than ancient wisdom: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”