Transition of Leadership

What comes to mind when you think of the transition of leadership?  Do you think of a collaborative exchange of knowledge and seamless transfer of power, or do you think of frustration and stress marked by unhelpful comparisons of who did it better? My guess would be your perception has been shaped by your experience.     

Transition of power is done best when there is trust between the two parties. When there is true intent to make the transition successful.  When the good and betterment of the organization is made the top priority of both. When there is a solid communication strategy around what the transition means for stakeholders. That is transition at its best.   

Jennifer Mayton (LMR Class of 2020) shares from her experience: 
In January of 2021, I had the privilege to accept the role of Interim Director for the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity. I assumed this role, from my friend and colleague, Tracey G. Wiley. Tracey and I had developed a trusted relationship over the roughly five years we had worked together; one that was built on mutual respect and support of each other and the tremendous mission of the agency.   

With more than 20 years between us, Tracey (LMR Class of 1999) and I (LMR Class of 2020) are both alums of the Leadership Metro Richmond (Quest) program. This program allowed us both to delve deeper into the beauty and pain of our region. Helping us both to appreciate the amazing responsibility we have as women in seats of power, to serve those that don’t have a voice or are underrepresented and deserving of access and opportunity. LMR is another bond that brought an unlikely pair to a place of like-mindedness and shared vision. 

Tracey Wiley (LMR Class of 1999) shares from her experience: 
As Agency Director for seven years and two administrations, I have observed the critical importance of a seamless transition of leadership. The value to the stakeholders outweighs any personal priorities. It was important that my predecessor continue the commitment to the mission and the vision. I knew that Jennifer would carry the message forward. The essence of this transition allowed two women to craft a pathway that would empower the other while ensuring stability for the organization. For us, it was a natural next step. 

As our time together drew to a close and we began our assent to our new stations, we set about ensuring our transition would be strategic and successful. We shared knowledge, resources, and contacts with renewed purpose. We developed joint messaging to keep those around us informed. We put the agency and the needs of those we served first and kept that at the forefront of our thoughts and actions. We vowed to remain confidants and avid supporters of each other and the work.   

That is what transition of leadership should look like and we are grateful to have walked this path together!   

Jennifer L. Mayton 
LMR Class of 2020 
Interim Director 
Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity 

Tracey G. Wiley 
LMR Class of 1999 
Founder & Chief Experience Officer 
Rainmaker Industries Group  


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