Could someone say, “succession plan?”
Put yourself in his place. You’ve grown up in the family business, and everyone has known – for years – that you would someday take the lead at succession. Your father – a nice guy – announces his retirement, in public (so there’s no turning back). He’s 96…
Finally, the chance for the promotion! Wait a minute; not so fast. Dad is retiring (in his sign-off, he gives no signal what he plans to do in his golden years), but Mom is the CEO, and has been for 65 years! Her dad was CEO before her, but died at age 56, clearing the way for her promotion, back in ’52.
Poor Charles. He’ll be 69 in November, but his mother shows no sign of stepping aside. Most of his chums from Cambridge had high hopes for him: he was the first heir apparent – in history! – to earn a college degree (Bachelor of Arts, with a GPA of 2.2; not the valedictorian). Now, those frat brothers are retiring, and Charles is still waiting for his first – and, last – promotion. The Queen’s still at it!
Tom understands. He started the New Millennium as a new hire, but has stayed with the same company for 16 years. He’s helped his team win the top honors in their industry five times over those years. In fact, he was the field manager who helped make the title happen. He’s only 40; how ignominious could the press be, to overlay his photo – taken at work, no less – with the headline: “Time for Brady to look at end game.” Five Super Bowl rings, and the fickle public is murmuring, “Next!”
And then it was Saturday, just two days ago. The Man they call “Lightning Bolt” was making his final appearance – at age 30! – in the event that he has owned since before the birth of the iPhone, but his Swan Song ended off-key: he was beaten in the 100 meters at the IAAF World Championships in London by Justin Gatlin, from America. No more races for Usain Bolt; he’s finished.
Prince Philip, retiring at 96. Prince Charles, hoping to change jobs and get his promotion, at 68. Tom Brady turned 40 last Thursday, knowing that #10 (Jimmy Garoppolo) is waiting to step in for #12. He’s checking the inflation on the team’s balls, wondering whether it’s time. Usain picked the wrong event if he was hoping to qualify for the pension plan: the victory lap at 30, but unceremoniously bested by the 35-year-old. What’s next for the Jamaican hero?
I sat recently with a great friend – a graduate of The Master’s Program – who could teach all of those guys a thing or two. My friend is nearing the end of his sixth decade – at a time when most of his contemporaries have hung the “Gone Fishing/Hunting/Golfing/Biking…” sign in their window – but he’s not writing his memoirs yet. In his ‘succession plan’, his energy is going into a serious pursuit of his coming season; if the strategic factors align, his name will be in national headlines as he engages what will be, for him, a move from serious past success into awesome future significance. He knows how to take all of his history and use it to set the coordinates for an even more amazing future.
Why? Because he believes that trophies are no match for crowns, and those eternal accolades are waiting for the followers of Jesus who figure out what God’s plan for their life here was supposed to accomplish… and that it isn’t over until it’s over. In the process, here’s the caption God puts under every scene: your life now is good, but the best is yet to come.
Listen: the average champion basks in the limelight, while living with the haunting sense that they have no hope for a better tomorrow. Sign some autographs; post some selfies on Instagram, and try to hold the attention of a fickle culture while navigating into the Great Unknown of the coming season.
“Why should I consider participating in The Master’s Program?” I hear that a lot. Here’s the best answer I know: we’ll help you maximize today, and to set a course for tomorrow that takes you ever closer to finding – and, exploiting – your God-Designed Potential. Finding your Calling is no incidental accident: after securing your Eternal Salvation through personalizing the Gospel, it’s the single most important pursuit of life…your succession plan.
Scroll down, below my signature: those are onramps for Master’s OnLine (good anywhere, anytime) and Introductory events around the country for live cohorts of TMP that are forming now.