What a week! I’ve been anticipating and talking about the pending transitions that will take place and begin a wave of change but this week has been whopper!!
- In world news, Libya is one step closer to overthrowing Gadaffi who is now in hiding. But transition is imminent and one wonders if the rebels are prepared for the chaos that will ensue in rebuilding their country.
- Steve Jobs has stepped down from his position as CEO of Apple and investors, employees and raving fans are rightfully concerned about whether or not the company can continue to flourish during the transition to a new stage of business without Jobs.
- The Japanese prime minister has stepped down amid criticism of the way he has mishandled the after-effects of the tsunami and nuclear catastrophe.
- Here in Canada, the untimely death of Jack Layton, leader of the opposition has left a huge gap in the leadership of Canada, his party and his family. It has also accentuated the differences between his style of leadership and those that remain. He was much loved and respected even by those who didn’t vote NDP and is being held up as a model to which other politicians should aspire.
- On a more personal note, Dawna and I have become grandparents for the first time. During a roller-coaster week of joy mixed with the unfamiliar emotions of deep concern and worry, Harriet Anne Maki came into the world 10 weeks early at only 2 pounds, 7 ounces. At the end of her first week in this chaotic world, she is doing well and we are optimistic that she’s going to grow up to be a wonderful little girl.
Each of these events will trigger huge changes in the lives of those who are intimately or even indirectly connected to them. While we can’t anticipate and prepare for every possibility, there are two major changes we can predict with absolute accuracy. Our business will be sold and we will die – and not necessarily in that order.
If you own a business, at some point in the future, your company will go through a transition in which you are no longer part of it. Like Steve Jobs, you may choose to step down, you may be forced out like Japan’s prime minister, you might die at the peak of your game like Mr. Layton or if you are a really bad manager, you might be hunted down by rebels. Ok, probably not the latter, but I’ve known some owners who are not very well liked by their employees.
Or, you might decide it’s time to leave the old behind and start something completely fresh, like being a grandparent. Or maybe a brand new business that is less demanding, less stressful and less risky. Maybe it’s time to let go of the past and look to the future.
Wouldn’t it make sense to do that before you’re forced to make a change? You can transition gracefully or go kicking and screaming. Your choice. You might want to make it before someone makes it for you.