When it comes time to transition your role as business leader to someone else, you'll face many changes. One of them is becoming a mentor.
As such, you'll have to communicate clearly, show some patience, and have a clear conception of what you want to accomplish before stepping down. Here are some tips on putting your successor in a position to succeed.
Find ways to continuously pass on your knowledge. Too often, vital business knowledge is lost when leadership or ownership changes, causing a difficult and chaotic transition for the successor.
Although you can impart a great deal of expertise by mentoring your replacement, you need to do more. For instance, create procedures for you and other executives to share your wisdom. Begin by documenting your business systems, processes, and methods through a secure online employee information portal, which provides links to company databases. You could also set up a training program around core business methods and practices - workers could attend classes or complete computer-based courses. Then, you can create an annual benchmarking report of key activities and results for internal use.
Prepare your company to adapt to an ever-changing business world, ensure your successor understands how each department works and knows the fundamentals of key areas, including customer service, marketing, and accounting. One way is to have your successor work in each business area.
Have your successor join industry trade associations and community organizations to meet other executives and successors in diverse industries. We have found that the most successful leadership transitions occur when the successor is exposed to outside thought leadership.
Additionally, require him or her to review and, if necessary, help update your company's business plan. To encourage your successor to develop relationships with key players inside and outside your company, include him or her in meetings with managers and trusted advisors, such as your CPA, lawyer, banker, and insurance agent.
Ideally, when you walk away from your company, your successor will feel completely comfortable and ready to guide the business into a fruitful future.
Let us help you maximize the effectiveness of your succession plan.