The Leader's Legacy by David McKenna

“A leader builds upon the past, gives momentum to the present, and leaves promise of greater things to come.”

David L. McKenna is an excellent source of profound leadership. He served 33 years as a president at three different Christian colleges, thus his wisdom is pretty much unparalleled. In the The Leader’s Legacy, McKenna addresses the difficulties of leadership transitions.

Changes in leadership are nearly always trigger problems. These problems can come from anywhere, but they are naturally very turbulent. The new leader may bring a new style, a novel vision, or an updated mission. On the other hand, the outgoing leader may leave unprepared employees, budgetary missteps, and a narrative of distrust.

McKenna gives us simple thoughts about a leader’s exit. He employs the story of John the Baptist as a leader in transition. John the Baptist had every opportunity to amplify his message, boost his followers, and spread his fame, but he knew his purpose and the great importance of exiting.

It is amazing to see how a leader’s departure can have such a major effect on his or her legacy. In some ways, it can be said that an entire legacy can be tarnished simply by how a leader steps down.

This is a great book. I will probably be more applicable to me when I finally reach that age where I must step down as a leader.