Just imagine you start your new job and on day one you are already thinking how to pass it on to your successor.
For those of you thinking ‘… but I’ll be out of a job if I think and act to achieve that’ bear with me and let’s see if I can change your mind by the end of this article.
Succession planning from day one is how I’ve always approached my managerial and director roles.
It’s not because I want to be on a beach with a nice cocktail in hand watching the sunset (who doesn’t want that?!) but it comes from the place of wanting to leave the business in the best possible circumstances should you become suddenly unavailable. And it’s part of my style of leadership too.
This approach demonstrates a high level of confidence in your own abilities and has the distinct advantage of driving certain behaviour and actions, all positive ones in my book, such as:
- Empowerment of others through delegation
- Creating a safe environment to learn from mistakes
- Simplifying processes and working practices
- Quicker decision making
It’s actually quite a liberating feeling and stress relieving too. It means that you can go on holiday and enjoy that cocktail on the beach knowing that all is well back at the office.
Most importantly it’s all about the people and their growth. If they grow, the team grows and you can bask with them in the amazing results.
And let’s be frank for a moment, at the back of everyone’s mind when they are in a job is predicting if and when they will leave, with the necessary criteria to trigger that plan. It could be triggered by financial needs, the actions of other colleagues, changing value sets as you as an individual and the company, and/or personal circumstances.
And when it’s time to leave the nest, it’s not necessary a bad thing. You’ll know that you’ve done the best job possible when you will be missed by others. And that will be because you and your team have performed. The icing on the cake (for me) is that you’ve created opportunities for others to continue on their learning and development path while leaving a strong team in place to take the business into the next chapter of its story.
So, did I change your mind and are you now thinking about planning for your successor or were you already with me from the start?