Succession Planning Is Not Complicated

Logo1I love to see headlines like this: Duke Energy Names New CEO.

It drives me to read the story to learn about the company’s succession plan efforts.

Although the article doesn’t highlight succession planning, it’s clear there was a plan. The new CEO has been in a senior role with the company since 2009 which should provide assurance to all stakeholders that a smooth leadership transition will likely occur.

It also pleases me to read statements about the new CEO like, “… was tabbed as a rising star early in her career…”

My take away from the article is the company did a great job in planning the replacement of their CEO. My guess (and hope) is Duke Energy takes succession planning deeper into the organization as well.

Exceptional succession planning provides for the development and retention of top people along with organizational stability.

My leadership tip for you this week is to have you review the strength and heart beat of the succession plan in your area of accountability. Ask yourself these questions:

If an opportunity to advance in my career came available next week, am I properly prepared for it?

If an opportunity to advance in my career came available next week, has my replacement been identified and is he / she properly prepared to take my job?

If an opportunity to advance for someone who reports to me comes available next week, do I have a strong candidate properly prepared to replace them?

The answer to these questions needs to be a resounding yes.

Succession planning is not magic … but here are the main ingredients you’ll need:

1. Determine what you need

2. Identify the candidates that could potentially meet the need

3. Determine the gaps in the candidates skills, knowledge and performance

4. Work towards closing the gaps – coach, train and / or mentor

5. Monitor progress – quarterly and formally

6. Repeat steps 2-5

The planning is not complicated … the rewards come with execution.

Let me know if you need any help.

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