If you are passionate about the work you do, you need to build into others and help them develop their abilities. It’s the only way to ensure that what you’ve started continues.

A few years ago, I started a homeschool co-op. The co-op has continued, in various forms, for six years. We started with four families, meeting in homes on a rotating basis. Now our group meets in a local church. This morning, our group consisted of eleven families, with children ranging in age from 1 to 10, divided into four classes, more than 40 people in all.

I am, by no means, the only leader in the group. As new families join the group, we include the moms in teaching and directing. We encourage each woman to use her individual talents and interests to contribute to the group. We help each other develop new abilities as we take on new responsibilities.

Developing others is the only way to ensure that your work will continue after you leave.

I know, because I am preparing to leave the co-op I started.

Because the co-op has always been a team effort, I know that it does not end with me. Others will fill in and step up, and the group will continue, probably for years to come.

If you want your work to continue, it is essential to plan for your own departure.

Have you ever started something, and then seen it fizzle when you moved on? Seen your plans, your investment of time and energy, and your vision unravel over time?

I have. It’s not an experience I want to repeat.

It’s okay to be selfish when it comes to succession planning. If you can’t get motivated to develop others for their enrichment and benefit, do it to preserve and sustain the work you love.

Develop other leaders to carry on your work. If you can’t do it for them, do it for yourself.

Leaving may still be hard — trust me, I know — but you may find comfort, as I do, in knowing that your work will continue long after you’re gone.

Join the conversation!

Have you ever started something and then watched it unravel when you left? Share your story.

Do you have a succesion plan to continue the work that matters most to you?

What is your strongest motivation for developing others?

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.