“I called my office to see how the meeting went, and found out, just because I was out of town, they decided not to have the meeting. There were important items on the agenda, but they cancelled the meeting.” Bob had just returned from three days on the West Coast.
“What if you never came back?” I asked.
“What do you mean, if I never came back?” Bob replied.
“What if you decided to move to Montana and manufacture dental floss? What would your team do without you? How would they have their meeting?”
“Well, I guess, they would pick someone to lead the meeting and carry on.”
“Look, this is a regular meeting, right? Happens every week? Agenda very similar from one week to the next? It’s an important meeting, but the structure doesn’t change much.”
“You are right,” confirmed Bob.
“Pick your next strongest person, tell them to prepare the agenda for next week. Tell them they are going to lead the next meeting.”
“But, I will be at the next meeting.”
“Exactly, but you will become a participant. If you want your meetings to occur while you are out of town, you have to start identifying the leadership while you are in town. Each week, pick a new person to lead. Publish a rotation schedule. You will still be there to prompt and assist, AND you will test their leadership in a safe environment.”