In 2018, I will continue to fade from sight. By the end of 2019, I hope to be completely transparent. This has been my goal since May of 2000.
If the founder of an organization remains vitally involved until the day they are no longer viable, the organization they founded will cease to exist within 10 years after their passing.
I don’t want that to happen to Wizard Academy.
Don’t worry, I’m not dying or anything like that.
The time-tested model for a successful transfer of leadership is to pass the torch to the next generation while the founder is still healthy and capable. Pennie and I have known this since the day we started the school.
Does your organization have a plan of succession? I ask this only because I’ve seen fabulous businesses fumbled during the hand-off. It’s a heart-breaking thing to watch.
I began to fade from sight in 2016, popping in only to say hello to each of the classes I wasn’t teaching. I’d spend a few minutes interacting with the students, asking each of them about their favorite moments, then I’d be gone.
In 2017, I’ve chosen to stay completely out of sight during classes taught by other faculty members and everything has been fine. Wonderful, in fact. No one seems to have noticed my absence.
In 2018, vice-chancellor Whittington will become the first person ever to teach the Magical Worlds Communications Workshop other than myself. You might want to consider being in his first class to share this important rite-of-passage with him.
I do plan to teach Magical Worlds a few more times and I’m sure I’ll always have some small part to play in the Wizard Academy Reunion each October, but right now my biggest concern is to finish the construction of The House of the Lost Boys and The House of Bilbo Baggins, thereby making it possible for 24 students and an instructor to stay on campus. (Our current capacity is 18 total in Engelbrecht House and Spence Manor.)
Pennie has a dazzling plan for terra-scaping the deep valley that stands between Chapel Dulcinea and the student mansions. I’m incredibly anxious to see it.
When those last two student mansions and the valley are complete, Pennie and I will have finished what we set out to do.
Want to hear something funny? I originally thought construction would take 5 to 7 years. But by the time we’re through, it will have taken 20.
The directors of Wizard Academy know the importance of onboarding new leadership, so they’ve invited Ryan Deiss and Rex Williams to join them in managing the oversight of our 501(c)3 educational organization. Your 7-person board of directors is now 9 persons.
The 50-and-60-somethings are beginning to turn things over to the 30-somethings.
To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heavens.
A time to be defiant, and a time to comply;
a time to struggle, and a time to relax;
a time to get started, and a time to be done;
a time for Gen-Xers and Millennials
to grasp the torch freely offered
by the Boomers in Winter.
If you’re the kind of person who reads these Monday Morning Memos – and you obviously are – you’re spending the hours, days and years of your life building something that ought to forever be remembered and appreciated. So please begin thinking about a plan of succession. It’s not urgent, but it’s incredibly important.
And to the thousands of you who have helped build Wizard Academy, please know we’re doing everything in our power to make sure your gifts will never be lost or forgotten. The campus guidebook – to be published in 2018 – will have many of your names in it and a mountain of glorious photos.
Indy said to tell you Arooo, and that he’ll see you in the rabbit hole.
Roy H. Williams
PS – In case you were wondering, Pennie and I won’t be retiring for many more years. We still have lots of ads to create, client businesses to grow, Wizard of Ads partners to serve, and a smiling number of books to write. The leadership of Wizard Academy is the only thing from which we’ll be fading.
Roving Reporter Rotbart roved to the Pacific Northwest this week with his daughter, Avital, to search for Sasquatch. Bigfoot. The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas. You know the one. Hopefully, Avital, a master photographer, will get some shots for National Geographic while her father records an interview with Mr. Big for next week’s edition of MondayMorningRadio. Arooo. – Indy Beagle