Succession planning, contrary to common belief, is not just about who to give your business over to once you’re too sick or old to run it yourself. In fact, succession planning doesn’t only apply to an owner, but also to anyone and everyone in a key management role in your business.
Unforeseen events crop up all the time: They could be anything from a health emergency to a promotion, and there needs to be a plan in place no matter the situation.
You or others who you ask to develop a succession plan may have hesitations. Some people feel threatened by having a plan for their successor in place, while others inappropriately feel their value as an employee is diminished if anyone else knows how to do what they do. Remember that this is not about finding replacements, but about planning for the future and ensuring continued business success that benefits all team members.
True leaders think about the company in the long term and develop their people. As a manager, you’re also responsible for making sure your job gets done no matter what. Meet with your key team members to discuss this idea of succession with very clear intentions.
Each manager, including you, should start by identifying their duties—list everything that is done the position without omitting anything. Once this is accomplished, it will be possible to both identify a person (or people) who is capable of fulfilling these tasks and then train this person to be able to step up to the plate.
If you want a promotion, train your successor—this is the ultimate win-win situation, because you can both go after that promotion. Look at succession planning as a positive opportunity: Developing your team will help you move forward in your role as a leader!