Successor Development – How to Use Adversitity to Your Advantage
The news media is doing an incredible job of flooding the airwaves with negativity day after day. Employers, employees, their families and their communities have been impacted by the economic downturn and likely would unanimously agree that business is tough. It has been my experience that some of the most valuable lessons I learned have come from dealing with tough times and learning to overcome adversity. In this regard, the economic downturn presents an incredible opportunity! The question is: are you prepared to capitalize on the opportunity?
My partners and I work with organizations across the country to assess prospective successors and in many cases are entrusted to develop a curriculum that optimally prepares a successor to be a capable and respected steward of the business. In many instances the curriculum is comprised of academic and experiential requirements over a three to five year period. The maturity, intelligence, attitude and commitment vary but in recent years there appears to be a common denominator: a significant percentage of the successors we have worked with have experienced only good economic times. Education and training are important ingredients but there is nothing like experiencing difficult economic times when tough decisions have to be made such as renegotiating with banks, laying off employees, managing expenses and reinventing new profit centers to name a few. I have watched two prospective successors of a client in the Southwest grow immensely by being thrust into tough situations in difficult economic conditions and having to make lemonade out of lemons. Was it fun? Probably not! Was the experience invaluable? Absolutely!
How are you using today’s challenges to help prepare your successor for tomorrow? Are you solving each problem yourself and moving on to the next fire? Or are you using this as a wonderful coaching opportunity by empowering your successors to think for themselves when addressing business issues or attempting to solve a problem? Nothing can replace real life experience dealing with challenges and adversity and coming out on top!
NextGen leaders can feel like they are stuck between and rock and a hard spot. Working to fulfill expectations of leadership as well as making their mark on the organization to earn respect. Click the following links for more drill-down resources on Successor Preparation.