When a strong leader decides to leave an organization it can strike fear in the hearts of an owner, CEO or board chair. Such change can feel a bit chaotic.
Right now I am training a new person in a leadership position in my own company. That means I need to refresh myself on how the day-to-day systems work. I have to put my own schedule on hold while I recruit and then teach a new person our processes and culture—a wonderful opportunity to see how we’re doing in those areas. I’m tweaking and re-thinking lots of systems along the way.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned toward making the transition more smooth:
- Meet regularly with your leaders one-on-one while they’re at the top of their game so you can stay in touch with processes that work well.
- Ensure you have systems in place that don’t depend on personalities or strategies.
- Live your culture every day so when someone else in your business doesn’t, it is noticed and can be addressed. Then new employees will immediately understand “how things are done around here.”
- Remember, it will take time for a new person to “get it,” so be patient, encouraging, and clear about his/her progress along the way.
- When the transition is not coming together in a timely fashion, remember, there are resources for interim leadership roles. Consultants at North Group have taken on the role of interim leader in many instances.
Don’t panic when a good employee decides to move on. Instead, use this opportunity to review your practices and make your company even stronger than it was before.