I first learned the use of the phrase, “hit by a bus,” from reading Gallop Researcher Jim Collin’s book, Built to Last. Jim wrote that through his research and experience, all of the successful companies he had worked with passed the “hit by a bus” standard. Simply put, if you were to be hit by the proverbial bus tomorrow, would your team or organization go on without you? Would they continue to improve beyond where they are today?
If your answer is yes, then you are a “clock builder” instead of a “time teller.” The clock builder builds the clock, develops systems and process around what really matters. The result—people use the clock to tell time themselves. The time teller has to be on hand and present to let everyone know what time it is. The time teller isn’t building a team, he/she has everyone looking up for answers.
At this point in time, you may have a solid plan and strategy for growth, you have the structure, the systems and processes in place, now ask yourself the tough question—will all this work in my absence?
Here are some additional questions to ponder:
- Have I surrounded myself with people who are more capable than I am in particular areas?
- Do I constantly assess whether we are structured and organized to best accomplish our key priorities?
- Do we have a growth-minded organization, where the leaders are continually growing in their leadership?
Lastly, as John Maxwell reminds us, there is no success, without a successor.