Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pick Your Replacement, Al Walsh on Your Succession Plans

Succession Planning for Executives

So, you’ve worked hard & accomplished the goals set for you, and now you’re thinking ahead to your next promotion. Being a smart executive, you’ve already identified your next career goal and communicated your desires to the powers that be. You’ve plotted, schemed, and carefully lobbied. You’ve sought mentoring to prepare you for the next challenge. But have you considered who’s going to replace YOU?

If you’re as good as you think, your boss doesn’t have a high motivation to give you up.
The rare leaders know that they have to develop their good employees; even at their own short-term expense - but as I already mentioned, those people are rare.
Then there’s the matter of protecting what you’ve so carefully built. You want to hand it over to someone who won’t destroy all your good work.
Then there’s the matter of how the powers perceive YOU as a leader.
If you want to smooth your promotion, and be thought of as an effective leader, and protect all that you’ve built - you need to start identifying your replacement and developing them for the job. Even if you’re not the one to make the decision, you want to provide at least one viable candidate for consideration.

If you are advanced to your boss’s job, then you particularly want to have a succession plan in place because that successor will most likely report to you. Management will be much more inclined to promote you if you’ve already identified a viable successor. Don’t be shy about it. The person you identify doesn’t necessarily need to know what you’re thinking, but you need to subtly start developing them for the job. Management SHOULD know what you’re thinking. Pick your moment, and share your thoughts in a low-key way.
Be smart about this, and proactive; the way you have with your other duties.

Everyone will benefit.

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