Ready now! Does Succession Planning backfire?

I get variations of this question a lot — if you focus on leadership and career development for your team, doesn’t this backfire for you as a leader?

Wont that just cause people to leave for better opportunities?

well yes – indeed it might.

When you have the opportunity to work with excellent people they do great things, and they get great opportunities.

Sometimes these opportunities are about starting new ventures, or joining new groups.

Sometimes they are about a chance to give back to the community, and sometimes they are opportunities to advance their career.

I would be misleading you if I were to say this is easy — it’s not — it’s very hard.  But, in life, the hard right things are often the ones that pay off in the end.

You see, for each person in your team that leaves for a great opportunity, there is an even larger group watching.    They are watching to see how those opportunities might apply to them.

We all know that developing great teams is not a once in a career opportunity.  It is an opportunity available to each of us every day.

There is greatness all around us — waiting to be discovered and waiting to be given the opportunity to flourish.  So while change is hard for everyone and opportunity can be bittersweet, rest assured that succession planning only backfires if you define your career in the very short term.

When you set the leadership development process in motion, you create the opportunity for talent to impact you in bigger ways .

So keep building your leadership pipeline and a rich professional network, and open yourself up to making  talent mobility part of your brand. 

It’s worth it, I promise.

9 thoughts on “Ready now! Does Succession Planning backfire?

  1. To me all the risks are forgotten when someone says ‘thank you’, or goes on to greater things and gives you some credit however small. There is nothing better in seeing someone achieve at what you taught them. The same pride a parent feels for a child.

  2. Awesome post Meg – you are a fantastic role model! Thank you for all that you have done for my professional growth -I am going to miss working with you! Cheers to bigger opportunity for the broader teams and I look forwrd to us working together again one day!

  3. Meg, this post, like all your posts, proves you to be the antithesis of the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ mentality. By walking the talk, I’m sure you give other readers the confidence to encourage and develop their teams to their fullest potential, and to see this talent mobility in a truly positive light. Your team thanks you!! 🙂

  4. Terrific post! Succession planning and leadership development aren’t meant to be static. It’s not like you pick your three successors, train them up, hang onto them at all costs and then that’s it forever. It’s a process.

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