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“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin

Chapter Objectives

Describe the compelling drivers to formalize handing off of intellectual property.

Define the basic elements of mentorship and succession.

Clarify the elements, characteristics, and dynamics of the mentoring relationship as a part of the process of leadership succession.

Develop insights for determining the personal commitment and role in transitioning, mentoring, and succession.

Every year, Tim and I schedule time for a retreat to plan what we are going to focus on in the next year. We select a special place where we can both think and play and do something special. At our latest retreat at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in California, we found ourselves wondering how many more revisions of our work we could do—and how much longer our ideas and strategies would be relevant for healthcare organizations. And then came the even tougher question: What would happen to our textbooks? Would Quantum Leadership just sail into the sunset? We humbly wanted the information that would be meaningful to future generations not to be lost; we did not want future generations to rediscover what we had already identified and shared. These questions got us to think about how to hand off our successful ideas to younger colleagues and selectively discard that which is no longer relevant. From that conversation, we began to strategize and learn about how to hand off knowledge and wisdom to younger generations, and this book is a result of those ideas.

We realized from our consulting practices that highly successful professionals are often reluctant to consider retirement, and many people avoid the thought of moving away from active engagement with colleagues in sharing knowledge and wisdom. It is even more challenging to figure out how to hand off or give one’s intellectual property to another colleague. As an unprecedented number of baby boomers move closer to retirement, there is much to share with succeeding generations. There is also some content or intellectual property that might not be applicable in future generations. We believe a formalized process for sharing and designating intellectual property and products would be helpful to not only our baby boomer colleagues but also to other generations of colleagues.


Our professional consulting focus has been on the importance of leadership and in helping others to learn as much as possible about leadership—to embrace new ideas to become the most successful leaders possible. Our belief has always been that everyone is a leader, regardless of whether they have a formal leadership title. Whenever two individuals are together, one person begins the dialogue or movement in the simplest way, and leadership is evident. Each one of us has some special knowledge and expertise that future generations should or might want. Creating ...

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