How to Turn Stepping Down into Stepping Up Leadership Development (IRetire4Him)

How to Turn Stepping Down into Stepping Up Leadership Development (IRetire4Him)

Leadership development in today’s chaotic culture isn’t for the faint-hearted! That’s why I believe God is calling wise, experienced Christian leaders to make a difference. We need to hear his call and build leaders for the future. That’s why I’m honored to be a contributing author to IRetire4Him.

Many leaders who reach the “retirement stage,” think their leadership role has come to an end. I believe that the opposite is true.  Stepping down might be the perfect time to step up to high-impact leadership development.

Your Leadership Development Insight is Needed Right Now

Let’s be real – The world seems crazy. What used to be considered wrong, is now considered right.

During these tumultuous, chaotic times, I believe that young leaders need us to step up. They need us to pass on the wisdom we have gained through experience. In turn, we need fresh insight into how God wants us to mentor and coach this generation so that we can faithfully pass the leadership baton.

In difficult situations, I ask myself, “What might I do to make a positive impact?”

This question is the foundation for all my leadership development work. It’s a question that catapults us from victim mode to victory mode.

Because of this, I was honored when Jim and Martha Brangenberg, founders of  IWork4Him,  invited me to contribute a chapter in their recently released book: IRetire4Him.

This collaborative resource is a must-read for the Christian leader who believes their purpose does not end when they retire.

An excerpt from the Introduction, underscores the importance of continuing your leadership development role, even after retirement…

“iRetire4Him: Unlock God’s Purpose for Your Retirement, is a call to those in the grandstands to come back on the playing field of life, to mentor those running the plays. The opportunity to mentor the next generation is abundant and brings the personal purpose reminiscent of a job well done while allowing the flow of unrestricted faith.”

Leadership Development is a Never-Ending Calling

I met Jim and his wife, Martha, when they interviewed me for their podcast, iWork4Him Radio program. They wanted to learn more about my leadership guidebook, Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building Your Next-Gen Leader.

During our interview, I talked about the concept of convergence, which I write about in Millennials Matter. It explains why it is important for leaders to carry on mentoring and coaching Millennials – even when they retire.

Martha was thrilled, and exclaimed, “I’m so excited that there’s a resource to help people. Millennials Matter guides them on how to lead Millennials. It shows them how to come alongside them and how to employ them. Even those that have hung up their hat, have so much left to offer.  Why not challenge yourself to fill your time with feeding into the future?”

I agree with Martha. Great leaders build great leaders. 

Here are key extracts from my contribution chapter to iRetire4Him. I trust that you will be inspired to search for opportunities where God wants to use your experience to make a positive impact…

Leaders Build Leaders 

Most experienced business owners focus on high growth and performance. Yes, business results are important. Many leaders, however, know what matters even more—the legacy they leave at work and at home. This legacy is the mark of true wisdom and effective stewardship. 

Millennials are entering a global economy filled with threats and opportunities that previous generations would struggle even to imagine. Robotics, artificial intelligence, quantum mechanics, and genetic engineering have left us grappling with complex, far-reaching issues. Understandably, next-gen leaders are filled with mixed emotions, ranging from fear to excitement, about making a positive difference.

Your legacy-making doesn’t end when you retire. In “The Making of a Leader: Recognizing the Lessons and Stages of Leadership Development,” Robert Clinton spotlights five phases of leadership development. What he found in his studies of leaders is that many stop at phase four. They’ve built successful businesses and are looking forward to retirement when they can kick back and take it easy. That is what they’ve been working toward their whole life. 

But Clinton proposes that every preceding phase in our lives is actually part of our preparation for stage five, which often emerges after retirement. Every seemingly unrelated event we experience—the people we meet, and the work we do—they’re all part of God’s preparation to lead us to this next stage. Clinton calls it convergence. 

Stage five is when we can have the broadest impact. Millennials need us senior leaders of proven moral character to impart wisdom, so they get the leadership traction needed to lead well in this rapidly changing culture. Now is not the time for us to rest. It’s time for us to rise up as mentors and coaches. Regardless of our ages—and regardless of whether we have formal or informal mentoring, coaching, or managing roles in our companies. Leading and serving are incalculable gifts we can give to those who will continue blazing trails where we leave off. 

It’s time for character-based business leaders to live out the truth of our calling regarding the plan, place, and position of our collective impact on the world. We have the high responsibility and urgent calling to mentor millennials so they can tap their vast potential. I believe they have the capacity to be the greatest generation yet. 

What seemingly unrelated, disconnected events have happened over the course of your life to date? 

Perhaps like me, you’ve become aware that God is now merging all your past experiences, talents, skills, and wisdom for a greater purpose. This is our legacy, the moment that reveals the culmination of all we have learned. It’s our calling to build wise, well-grounded leaders of character and virtue. 

If you’ve ever watched a relay race, you know how important it is to pass on the baton to the next runner. Will you accept the challenge to mentor, coach, and disciple up-and-coming leaders? 

We must not abdicate this responsibility, and there is great reward in embracing the opportunity. Be proactive and strategic. It’s time. 

Perhaps you’re reaching for the mentoring baton, considering its weight, but you’re not quite certain of your footing, where to focus, or where to go. Maybe you’re thinking, No one’s going to listen to me anyway. 

I wrote the following poem, “The Calling,” during a time when I needed strengthening for the journey. In sharing this poem with you, it is my wholehearted prayer that its words confirm your calling—that you use your uniquely crafted talents to make a difference in the lives of the millennials within your sphere of influence. 

The Calling

I am calling you,

I am anointing you,

I am setting you apart for a divine purpose.

Rise up and walk in it.

Turn your back on how you’ve done it before.

Behold, I am making all things new.1

I am opening new vistas and opportunities.

Walk in confidence.


Excerpt from  2019. All rights reserved.  

Here are links to the Interviews I’ve done with Jim and Martha Brangenberg, founders of  IWork4Him

iWork4Him Podcast: Millennials Matter (Jim and Martha Brangenberg)

IWork4Him: Feedback vs Feed-Forward (Jim & Martha Brangenberg)

People who contributed to the book:

Bruce Bruinsma – The Retirement Reformation

Doug Fagerstrom – Marketplace Chaplains

Jeff Brown – Corporate Chaplains

Rich Timmons – Pocket Testament League

Leadership Development Lesson: It’s time for character-based business leaders to mentor millennials so they can tap their vast potential. 

Leadership Development: How might you continue to build leaders for the future, even after you retire?

Join me for a free virtual coffee meeting

Looking for an encouraging keynote speaker? Your leadership matters – now, more than ever before. In fact, you have been born for such a time as this. You have been uniquely crafted to lead through these crazy, chaotic times. You have been strategically sent to these people, this place, this time, this nation, to make a positive difference. Now, step up and out to lead!

To schedule a virtual coffee to brainstorm further, email me at

Or, call me at 612-267-3320.

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