How to Start Planning for Your Succession

Business leaders always ask me, when is a good time to start planning their succession, and I usually answer the day you become the leader. And many of them are shocked, but the truth is, succession planning takes time and development; and if you want to grow leaders you have to groom and grow them, it doesn’t happen overnight.

So if you are wondering how to start planning for your succession, this is how.

Start early: It can take time to find and prepare a promising candidate for a leadership role. So, don’t leave your succession plan until the last moment, start having a plan from the day you take office, because how you will lead every day, will affect those around you, No one is going to be with a company forever, so it’s important to know what needs to happen and it’s the leadership responsibility in developing bench strength that a critical for succession to be successful

Engage senior leaders: It’s essential to have consensus among the CEO and senior leadership team about the importance of proactive leadership development and succession planning. This group should set expectations, put processes in place, and hold the organization accountable for making it happen.

Speak to the process: As the current leader, it’s important to be part of the process and procedure, think outside the box when you are building a succession plan, and make sure you have a slate of diverse candidates. A robust plan can ease the process of identifying individuals who are ready to take on the role immediately—and others who are a few years out.

Map out a vision of the future leadership team:  An active development process to prepare people for next-level jobs. so it imperative for leadership to understand the capabilities required to achieve the organization’s strategy. With this understanding, the organization can assess the potential of current people, and see if there are any candidates to become the future leader to meet the emerging needs.

Shift everyone’s mindset: Usually everyone thinks of succession as a loss, it is the leaders responsibility to embrace the idea and have everyone shift their mindset from seeing the succession process as a loss and toward envisioning it as an opportunity for the themselves and the company.

Develop the future leaders. Identify potential future leaders, then identify their development needs and build in systematic processes to cultivate that development growth. As a leader, you need to identify developmental needs and career aspirations, and consciously build learning objectives into the future leader’s work.

Seek new talent to fill the void. There will be many instances where future leadership capabilities cannot be fulfilled by those who are in company now, that is when the organization needs to an effective hiring and ongoing on-boarding practices to integrate new leaders into the company.

By knowing the importance of succession planning and identifying your potential future leaders you help those in your company feel valued for their contributions and eager to realize their potential within the organization.

Lead from within: The potential gains from doing succession planning well go far beyond the obvious result of having a steady pipeline of leaders ready to step into new roles, it gives the company stability and resilience, which breeds market confidence and drives shareholder value.


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The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Hamilton Lindley

    28. May, 2019

    It’s an interesting thought to start planning for your replacement once you become a leader. But that is the reason behind the idiom of a rising tide lifts all boats. By grooming future leaders, it makes the entire organization stronger over time.

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