Succession Planning - A Critical Priority

True leaders are hard to come by. When you have one, you must do your best to keep that person, because they will grow leaders in your organization and increase your organization’s overall capabilities.

Great leaders are like fuel that keeps things going and sustains a level of performance that makes the company successful in achieving its goal.

Herb Kelleher is a perfect example of a true leader who cares about his people. He believes that if he takes care of his employees, their customers will benefit from the employees being treated well. His employees are happy and eager to make a difference to their customers and always go above and beyond to serve their customers.

His leadership skill, coupled with his dynamic personality, dedication to higher purpose, love for his people, and will to succeed, as well as his lack of ego, has made Southwest a very successful company.

At Times of Leadership Transition

Like anything else in life, all good things must come to an end. That is also true in leadership. At some point a succession plan must be prepared to ensure that the company continues to be successful. A great leader will make this his/her priority. They understand that sustainability is key to the success of the company. They know that they need to leave the company in good hands to continue to succeed.

Great leaders will be on the lookout for talent that can take over their spot. This would be a top priority for the leader to ensure the continuity of service and sustainability of the organization.

The following are key to success of the transition:

  • A proper plan must be in place to enable the successor to learn the ropes and step in when the time comes.
  • Clarity of the type of leader must be defined in order to select the appropriate candidate.
  • The successor must be provided the opportunity to take on increasing challenge to test the water and should be coached accordingly. The leader understands that an organization must continue to exist regardless who is at the helm.
  • An ongoing assessment utilizing logical measurement methodology must be taken to ensure the success of the training.

A leader often knows when to yield his position to his successor. At that point, either the leader is moving on to perform a role for another organization, or the leader will be stepping down for good. Either way the organization will be in good hands to be led by a well-trained leader who can carry the legacy of the organization.

Make Succession Planning A Priority

In my opinion, succession planning is a top priority for every leader. A leader is confident and doesn't worry about who is taking over their position, but rather they are focused on helping the organization sustain its performance.