A Peaceful Transfer of Power

Over the Thanksgiving holiday there was a peaceful transition of power at my dad’s home.  Let me explain…

Anytime I am privileged to spend a day or two with my parents I will take dad out for a drive or a walk at one of the local parks.  There are not many decisions that need to be made but there are always a few. 

A few years back dad stopped making decisions. 

Anytime there was a decision to be made, like when to turn around and head back home or whether to take one more lap or call it quits, dad would say, “You decide, you’re in charge.”

Being a son who takes the fifth commandment seriously, that statement always made me uncomfortable.  When it comes to my dad, I don’t want to be in charge.  A part of what makes home home is that I don’t have to be in charge.  (Even at my age, it is still a thrill to pilfer through my parent’s refrigerator or pantry to find something to eat that I didn’t have to pay for!)

But the truth is, at this stage of our father/son relationship, it truly is best that I be in charge.  (At least when mom is not around.  We haven’t made that transition yet! 😊)

This past Saturday I officially took the baton and embraced what we both knew was in fact already true—that it was time for me to be in charge when we went out on our little excursions. 

As we walked around the trail at the little city park last Saturday, I reflected on this decision and thought, perhaps one of the true definitions of success is when someone believes in you enough that they willing transfer power over to you.  They’ve observed your life and character, witnessed your competency, and have concluded that you can be trusted with being in charge. 

So often I have seen people with a title barge into a situation and try to seize power.  It seldom turns out well.  Power and authority are not a privilege, they are a responsibility.  Being in charge is not about getting your way, it’s about showing the way; it’s not about your success, it is about your service. 

Bottom line, being in charge is far more than a title or a position or seniority, it is a solemn responsibility and stewardship that must be earned by demonstrating your trustworthiness and dependability. 


The ONE THING for today: You know you have succeeded as a leader when those being led are willing to turn over to you the right to lead them.  When that peaceful transition of power occurs, it is a solemn moment, a holy moment, and a moment to cherish forever, for it is the moment that you really and truly become the leader.

101 Passing Baton Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip Art -  iStock
Creator: Pict Rider | Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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