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Leadership Insights:

Leadership Tips: Simple, on-the-job self improvement ideas to strengthen your leadership skills

Stress: A dozen strategies to reduce on-the-job stress

Leadership Articles: Leadership and team development insights by Jeff Appelquist

Time Management: Strategies and activities to help business leaders manage their time

Leadership Styles: Overview of the frameworks, theories, and styles of leadership

Leadership Power: Six types of power for business leaders

Delegation: Understanding the skill of delegating effectively

Decision Making: Understanding sound decision making

Personalized Growth Plan: Design and begin a personalized leadership growth plan

Communication Tips: Leaders know how to communicate effectively

The Power of Praise: Meaningful praise is a powerful and important motivator

Understanding Feedback: There are five main categories of feedback 

Leadership Responsibilities: A team leader's responsibilities to his or her team

Leader/Team Tension: Leader behavior that can weaken team cohesiveness

Management Framework: A process outline for achieving results

Strategic Planning: Determine where your team has been and where it wants to be

Talent Development: Guidelines for developing the talents of your team members

Engagement Misconceptions: Twelve misconceptions about employee engagement

High-Power Leadership: When does leadership power become counterproductive

Succession Planning: Guidelines for a successful succession program

Succession Planning

Successful leaders ensure that key employees are recruited and developed to fill vital roles within an organization.  This succession process works to make certain that positions are filled with competent people who have been prepared for advancement.  Having a pool of qualified people not only works to keep an unbroken flow of leadership,  the training and development of potential  leaders boosts retention because those being groomed stay motivated and engaged.  They understand that the organization is investing in their future.

Although there are many different pathways for succession planning, below are some key guidelines to help leaders implement a successful succession program:

1. Start early; don’t wait for a crisis to begin a succession program.

2. Avoid “management on the go” by having a clear succession planning strategy that fits the organization’s mission and priorities.

3. Base your succession planning on a sound analysis of needs.  Have a solid understanding of the challenges your team or business will face in the upcoming years.  Succession planning is a multi-year process.

4. Don’t think of succession planning as replacing a particular person; rather see it as filling roles.  Focus on identified responsibilities and practices, not on personalities.

5. Understand what you mean by “high potentials.”  How do you assess potential leaders? How do you compare and contrast people within your organization? How do you assess performance?  How does performance in one area translate into performance at an advanced level? Does the culture of your organization support and nurture leadership development?

6. Keep your job descriptions up to date so the roles you must fill are clearly defined.

7. Involve all key stakeholders in your succession planning.  This includes people who will be influenced when a position becomes vacant.

8. Keep in mind that strategic succession planning is about the future—the talent, skills, and competencies that your team or organization needs as it grows and changes

9. Clearly identify the developmental needs of those individuals you have targeted for advancement.  Then design developmental activities that will strengthen identified needs.

10. Design experiences for high potentials that will challenge their capabilities and allow them to grow.  This may include special assignments, lateral changes, placement on focused projects, shadow assignments, and participation on new teams.  Give your high potentials a chance to “show their stuff.”

11. Keep abreast of employment trends in your area so you will be prepared to compete for difficult positions to fill.

12. Hold those responsible for identifying and developing future leaders accountable.  Make it a priority for current leaders to successfully find and develop new leaders.

13. Make certain that your personnel policies will ensure fair and compliant advancement practices.

14. Balance internal and external hiring.  If you feel your team or organization is stagnant or stalled, then consider filling positions externally; if you feel your team is on track and vibrant hire internally.

15. Take regular assessments of your developmental strategies to make certain that your developmental practices are actually adequately preparing new hires.