Connect your present to your future through succession planning

Shelley SmithBlog

Succession Planning Vertical & Horizontal

If you are a leader and believe you are indispensable – or worse, if you are hoarding knowledge to make yourself indispensable – you are doing your company, your employees and yourself a great disservice.

Effective leaders build other leaders and are not threatened by them. Building the next generation of leadership in your company is a must to ensure a smooth succession when you retire or if you should become incapacitated or die. The same is true for key staff members.

Succession planning is important to your company because it prepares the business for all contingencies and allows it to continue running without financial hiccoughs when you are no longer at the helm. It is important to employees because it boosts morale and security for them to know what comes next for them. It also increases employee engagement while producing advancement opportunities.

And, it’s a stress reliever for you, in that you’ll know that should something unexpectedly happen to you or other key staff members, business will be able to continue.

Unfortunately, many businesses overlook succession planning, even though it is fundamental to their future.

Planning for the Future

What are you planning and do you have the following covered?

  • Formal succession plan and company exit
  • Designated replacement in case of emergency
  • Target date replacement for retirement
  • Talent development
  • Job replacement
  • Situational replacement for specific roles
  • Growth replacement
  • Agility

There are lots of ways you can develop talent. I have found this structure to be highly effective in all types of trades and companies of all sizes.

  1. Establish a core vision and live by it.
  2. Establish a core mission and live by it.
  3. Ensure you have core competencies.
  4. Ensure you have matching behaviors.
  5. Establish and maintain a strong workforce foundation.
  6. Establish a cadence in your culture.

Employee Motivation

Using behavioral assessment tools gives you a quick heads-up to know what drives and motivates not only you, but, more importantly, those around you. It also helps you identify strong talent that should be nurtured and mentored as leaders. One such great tool is the Predictive Index®.

  1. What behavioral strengths do you look for?
  2. Are the executives in your team leading with those strengths and motivating others?
  3. Are your job descriptions, job ads and performance development systems in complete alignment?

Discovering your employees’ motivation includes why, how and what:

Q: Why do we do what we do?

A: We want employee engagement to yield higher returns.

Q: How do we accomplish this?

A: By connecting performance indicators with ongoing feedback, including rewards, which helps you to continually identify the training and development needs for individuals and teams.

 Q: What are the results when we connect all three together?

A: With higher returns from your efforts, you achieve a higher valuation for your company, which leads to earlier exit planning and financial freedom.

If your company needs help identifying and nurturing leaders and working to develop a succession plan, I can help. I have been teaching companies about workplace culture, coaching executives and providing training for many years. Contact me at