A great leader understands the best thing they can do to get promoted or take on more for the organization is to have someone on their team ready to take their spot. Great leaders are A players. So, of course they are excited about the idea of having their back-up on the team. If you don’t have a process for it, just ask your leaders if they have their back-up on their team? Then watch how they react to the answer. Then decide what you’re going to do about it.
Help The Company Grow By Developing People
I’m always amazed at how many companies don’t do succession planning, or don’t have an expectation that every leader should have their back-up on their team. Do you have leaders that get excited about the idea of having their back-up on the team, or threatened by it? There’s a big difference between the two and I’ve worked more places where it’s the latter than the former. But if your leaders are not “A” players, I promise they are not excited by the idea of having their back-up on their team. If your leaders have their back-ups, congratulations. If they don’t have their back-up, make them get one. And if they don’t and you don’t care, you’ll likely start losing the nine until you address the one.
Do you know who your high potentials are? Better yet, do they know you know who they are? Do you have a formal succession planning process to identify your future leaders? Have you had a meeting with your top executives where you discussed the talent on their teams, and discussed opportunities for them to continue to excel and contribute to your organization? If you said yes, keep doing it. If you said no, start doing it.
The worst thing that happens to a high performer is finding out how valued they are about two minutes after giving their notice. It happens all the time. When you have a formal succession planning process, it provides visibility for the high performers to all leaders in the organization. Imagine high performers hearing how valued they are (and that they are considered a high potential employee) from someone other than their boss? Trust me, it’s incredibly impactful.