The other day I received an envelope from a local dental practice. I didn’t recognize the name of the practice so I initially didn’t know why they sent me an appointment confirmation and several patient intake forms.
I then looked more closely at the enclosed business card. There were three dentists listed on the card. I didn’t recognize the first two, which matched the name of the practice. But the third name was…my dentist.
Dr. Davis has been practicing dentistry for at least 30 years. For years he practiced solo, but I knew he recently decided to bring in two new dentists (a couple) who can continue the practice when he retires in a few years.
Dr. Davis could have very reasonably kept his name on the office door and in first place on the business card. He has certainly earned the right. He is well-known and respected throughout the community for both his dental practice and dedicated community service. But instead, he has willingly put himself under the authority of the future owners, essentially working for them as they assume leadership of the practice and he phases into retirement over the next year or two.
THAT is what successful succession looks like: intentional, strategic, humble. Dr. Davis is a class act. I’m glad to know I’ll still see him after he retires, since he attends our church — the church he helped start nearly 30 years ago.