More Term Limits – Succession Planning is Vital

More Term Limits – Succession Planning is Vital

For many businesses, it is a requirement. It makes good business sense. Things happen and if the position is worth funding, it should be filled quickly. If the “bench” is not deep enough, inquiries should be made. Sometimes the bench is plenty deep but timing prevents the desired flow, but in many cases the bench doesn’t have the depth. Pick any position. If an organization is seeking a Senior “anything” person, why? It should promote a regular “anything” and hire another regular “anything”? It happens all the time, in every industry and all job functions. Some do it better but it is still pervasive.

This same issue happens in politics, at every level. The emotions are similar, no one wants to consider losing a good leader. Except, succession planning in politics is hierarchical, with rank established by not only adherence to orders but a track record of obedience. If you “buck the system” as a school board member, you can kiss local or state office goodbye.

This is the process that has brought us to our current location.

A different succession planning strategy is required, a deeper bench is needed. To achieve this, a new vetting process must be implemented. This process needs to involve many people that adhere to preestablished criteria and rotate out after a short tenure; with decisions subject to review and scrutiny with open debate. A new crop of recruits requires a new recruitment process.

Should the next Congress person be elected from the pool of prior state legislators or other elected officials? What experience does a person in Congress need? What skills or expertise is desired? Are these skills unique and does time serving in one capacity augment the skills needed at the next level? In some cases, yes, in others no. Ingratiating oration skills can certainly be advantageous, even in this day and age, but these folks should be representing the people, not giving speeches. They should explain and defend policy actions, not persist in diatribe. Can a mechanic serve in Congress? Not only is the answer an emphatic yes, but all walks of life and industry should serve.

Congress should be a revolving door. Step up, serve one term and leave. A boot camp can be started for incoming members (one already exists, but it should be expanded) as to allow them to “hit the ground running”. The country needs to stop looking for a number one draft choice and working on creating a greater bench and vetting system. So much focus is put on drafting the perfect person instead of creating a playbook: A platform clearly describing the desired policies.

If a strategy is put in place, succession planning becomes much easier. If a leader gets hit by a bus, the strategy is in place and implementation continued. The leader’s successor has the playbook to follow. Succession planning should not require the creation of a new playbook. If it does, the playbook was not sound to begin with or the new leader has their own agenda. Both are problems.

The people need to stop putting elected leaders on pedestals and start looking for electors willing to work, and leave. We seem to have forgotten Congress works for us and should be creating and ensuring enforcement of laws for the advancement of the country. There are plenty of capable players but without a change to the recruitment process and succession planning, the best team will never be fielded.

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