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AcctTwo Blog

The Importance of Good Church Leadership Succession Planning

arms-bottle-cap-1326925Good leadership matters. As an organization, your emotional intelligence is vital to the church leadership succession planning process. People work for people. “People are definitely a company’s greatest asset,” says Mary Kay Ash, CEO of Mary Kay cosmetics. “It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.” I think back to every organization that I’ve ever been in or a part of and that sentiment is so true. People are so important. Relationships with people are what bind us, especially in faith-based organizations when our focus is on the good work we do with people and spreading the word of the Lord. Faith-based employees are stewards of the organization, no matter which role they are in.
According to Neal Joseph in Outcomes Magazine, “Leadership challenges now require an extra something that is often intangible. We tend to hire people to solve ‘technical’ problems in our organizations, when in fact many organizational issues that result from working in a post-modern cultural context require adaptive, not technical leadership.”

Succession PlanningIt goes both ways; positive and negative. If you have a leader in place that is amazing, your team is more likely to be happier and at least 11 percent more productive than a leader who is terrible. Think about the current leaders at your organization and their staff, how happy do they seem? How well do they work together? A change from one leader can be welcomed or cause stress. A study by Everest College showed that more than 80 percent of Americans are stressed about their jobs, and 75 percent of people said the most stressful aspect of their job is their immediate boss.

“When I stepped into West Houston Assistance Ministries as CEO, I walked into a mess. Morale was down. I needed to quickly make major changes. Things needed to get done, the right way. Over the past three years, I helped rejuvenate the board, cleaned up operations, and implemented new policies and procedures. We are significantly bigger than where we were three years ago. I credit two key fundamentals to that success: modeling good leadership and truly caring for my team, and authentic storytelling. The latter is a more recent revelation. When COVID started, I started documenting how our organization has been helping people. So far, I’ve created over 100 videos since the pandemic started. It has increased awareness of the organization on local and national news and helped aid my communication to our staff, board, and influencers,” Mark Brown, CEO at West Houston Assistance Ministries.
Turnover can impede a healthy functioning church. The average cost for replacing a midrange staff person is 20 percent of their salary and up to 213 percent for leadership roles. Over time, this can have serious financial repercussions.

Earlier this year I attended the Outcomes Conference where I heard Dr. James Galvin give a presentation on Successful Leadership Transitions. In that session, he said that 27 to 46 percent of leadership transitions fail. That’s 1 out 3 leadership transitions that just don’t work. Can your staff handle that stress? The most expensive hire you can ever make is hiring the wrong person.

Download the full eBook: Succession Planning for the Back-Office

Succession Planning Cover

In our eBook, we dig into nonprofit succession planning and discuss why it is so important. We provide stories and statistical data to help you clearly understand the necessity of succession planning.

In our eBook we cover the following topics:

- The Purpose of Succession Planning
- The Importance of Good Leadership
- Culture Really Matters
- What You Need to Know About Hiring Millennials
- Hiring from Within
- Succession Planning for the Back-Office
- Red Flags to Watch Out For
- What’s Next?

Download now >
Topics: back office Faith-Based succession Planning