Wednesday, 5 October 2016
As I reviewed the recent Vice President’s Debate, I was struck by how much more accomplished, or at least palatable, these two candidates were when compared to their Presidential running mates. Americans, and frankly most of the rest of the world, wish that there were better choices for President. The debate provided some small comfort in knowing that the person in the second fiddle seat is probably better suited for the office than either of the primary candidates.
What about in your case? How strong is your second fiddle? Have you the confidence of leadership to actually groom someone who may be your equal? Do you have the resolve to install a successor who could be even better than you?
The fact of the matter is that this is a difficult task but a necessary one. The most effective leaders know and understand the consequences of poor succession planning and therefore face this issue head on. The less effective ones prefer to build a legacy at which all will wonder in awe and only hope that the second seat will learn to grow into the position when the torch is passed.
The irony is this. Those who build an organization that is passed on to a poor successor will not be remembered for what they built, but rather for the regression that occurred afterwards. In contrast, the leader who valued the company over their ego will be remembered as the consummate builder because things continued to grow, despite their absence.
Regardless of the significance of the position of leadership you hold within your organization, you are the maestro, you are the conductor responsible for ensuring a smooth transition to the next…to your successor. How well you do this speaks not only of your competencies as leader, but even more importantly, of your character.