Sunday, December 28, 2008

Preparation for succession

Ever heard the saying, "we're all expendable" or "everyones' replaceable"? I'm sure you have heard this or something similar, and like it or not it's pretty true.

As leaders of our teams it is up top us to ensure the team will survive even if we are not the one leading the team. Are you prepared? Has someone been acting as your second in command.

If all of this is something you haven't put much thought into, perhaps it should be one of your goals for 2009.

Make an action plan so that by the end of the year you will have a a replacement for yourself, someone who knows the team's strengths and weaknesses, understands all the processes. Someone who can help develop the strategy and continue to steer the team towards the goals.

Like all good project plans set up some general goals and timelines maybe along these lines:

1. Identify likely candidates,
2. Document all processes,
3. Select final candidate, - End Q1
4. Develop a mentoring relationship with candidate to work through the processes,
5. Allow some responsibilities to transfer to candidate, - End Q2
6. Involve candidate with strategy plans for the following year, - Q3
7. Take leave and allow candidate to run team - end Q3
8. Evaluate result

Hopefully by the end of the year you will have a new team leader in place and ready to fill your role. Perhaps it will be for nothing but then again maybe it will ensure your team can survive the turmoil of change of leadership.

While this may seem a strange topic it is important for a leader to prepare a legacy so the team can continue to perform strongly well into the future.

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