Your legacy – your successor

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After years of arduous climb over the treacherous corporate mountain, today you majestically stand at your eagle’s perch, wielding enormous clout in the organisation as well as the industry. Your valuable contributions have added to your company’s corporate standing. In the absence of your grand vision, your perspicacity, it will be hard to keep the show going with similar ease and simplicity, wouldn’t it? relay-baton (1)

Believe it or not, your company has already thought of that and would very likely have figured up a succession plan in case it loses you on retirement, or should you choose to leave. That’s quite depressing, to realise that you are replaceable, that this constant whirl of activity, this leadership role will come to an end.

But be realistic. We all must move on– that is life. Your beads of sweat nourished the roots of this corporation. You know how your job is best done. Shouldn’t you be the best person to choose your successor? Hence, you must talk to your company to make you responsible for finding a suitable successor, someone to carry the torch ahead when you ascend newer heights.

Feel glad that you are in charge of choosing a person capable enough to run the show with the same felicity that you did. As for his inexperience, you are there to guide him along till your last working day.

This is your last challenge. Triumph over it with a flourish by following these easy steps.

4 steps to finding your successor

1. Shortlist candidates based on the core competencies required for your job role:

• Job skills
• Behavioural abilities
• Leadership abilities
• Future demands of the role

2. Don’t raise any expectations by revealing this shortlist.You must assess every candidate for their analytical and structured approach to collaborative problem solving. This requires proficiency in soft skills, such as management skills, emotional intelligence, and leadership ability.

Seek out their future career goals and how aligned are those with the company’s vision.

3. Mentor them. Identify special assignments for skill development and testing. Train them to be prepared for all challenges. They don’t have the wealth of your experience; they haven’t walked in your shoes. They’ll make mistakes and stumble. Reassure them with your guidance.

4. After monitoring over a considerable period, once you have finalised your successor, redefine the roles & responsibilities. The onus lies on you to clearly communicate the altered scenario to all concerned stakeholders and the members of the organization.

You are not choosing your clone. This is a different individual, with different motivations, different abilities but overall, he’s on the same path that you travelled. And he will continue this journey after you.

Once your successor has been identified, hone his skills and tune him into the professional networks that you’ve been utilizing to further the corporate interests. Enhance his understanding of the machinations that keep the show going.

You were hired for this job to execute the company’s vision. Likewise, this successor will be responsible for maintaining the benchmarks you’ve set and turning your dream for the company into reality. This is the person you are entrusting with your corporate legacy. Make sure you choose the best.

Rahul Malhotra
Rahul is the Co-Founder and CEO at HeadHonchos.
He has close to 14 years of experience across the executive search, recruitment, retail and internet verticals. One of the first to come on board, he holds an MBA degree from IMI, Belgium and a Diploma in Information Technology from Swinburne, Australia

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