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Executive Leaders: Develop Your Succession Plan
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Executive Leaders: Develop Your Succession Plan - Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Leaders: Develop Your Succession Plan

Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Leaders: Develop Your Succession Plan

People are constantly moving in today's business world, whether they are changing positions or changing companies. Opportunities can appear anywhere at any time, and even Executive Leaders who are not planning to move on should be prepared for that possibility. A succession plan is vital for Executive Managers to keep in mind to help ensure a smooth transition if and when it is necessary.

Issues to consider in your succession plan. While an Executive Leader may leave a position, the organization still remains behind. You should consider both the company as a whole and the individual who will become the next leader.

In terms of the company itself, it is important to have an established chain of command. A chain of command creates a framework for all employees in the organization. During a transition in leadership, employees may feel uncertain about the situation. A solid chain of command will help workers feel confident carrying out their responsibilities and will maintain structure for the day-to-day work as the executive position is in transition. Even if the chain of command changes with the new leadership, the framework established by the previous leader will provide a common starting point.

In an ideal situation, old and new leadership should have the opportunity to meet and form clear goals for the benefit of the entire organization. An Executive Director must set goals for the company that employees can confidently work toward even while leadership is in transition.

If there is time, start looking early for your successor. You may find the person you are looking for in your own organization, or you may need to look outside of the company. Promoting from within an organization is usually easier than bringing in an outsider, so if you do see a potential successor among your employees, take the time, even before you consider leaving, to provide that person with professional development training. Give a potential successor the tools to augment the skills and abilities you see in him or her.

The benefits of having a plan. A well-organized succession plan is vital to the survival of a company after an Executive Leader departs. There will always be unexpected bumps along the way during a time of change, but a succession plan provides a framework for an organization and some direction for those bumpy patches.

A succession plan benefits not only an organization and the new leader but you as the outgoing executive as well. A smooth transition is a positive reflection on you, in that a company that transitions well usually has a solid foundation already in place. It also demonstrates the professionalism and forward thinking of the Executive Leader who created the plan.

Throughout their careers, Executive Directors must prepare for a variety of situations within an organization and change in leadership is one of them. The leader of a solid company should have an established succession plan to ensure the organization’s success and to solidify the reputation of the outgoing leader as well.


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