Leadership Succession Planning – Why do you need one?

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Written by Mary Asante

Last updated: 22/11/2021

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Leadership Succession Planning

Leadership succession planning: Nurturing the next generation of business leaders is critical for any organisation. Executive coaching facilitates the foundational work you need to identify the next generation of leadership for your business.

A leadership succession plan is a challenge for most organisations. Irrespective of the size of the organisation; whether you are a small, medium or large organisation. Succession planning will be key to the future success of your business.


Business owners run most SMEs and may have done so right from the start. As a business owner, you will see the business as your baby and will have formed a strong bond and affection with it. You’re indispensable and no one can take your place. After all, you started the business and live and breathe it day and night. How can someone else step up to the challenge? 

As a leader for a larger organisation, you have a vision and a passion for that vision. You know exactly where you’d like to take your business. And you already have a short-, medium- and long-term plan. You may also have an A-Team assembled, perfect for your plan. You’ve even fine-tuned it to suit your organisation and may know exactly how every piece of the jigsaw fits together, which is great.

In both scenarios, it is important to recognise the role succession planning plays. Both the present and the future of the business. You and your key members of the organisation may have a wealth of knowledge, skills and expertise. All key qualities your business needs to function and to grow. You may also have great chemistry as a team and work together well. Roles and responsibilities are clear to everyone in the team and they know how it all fits together. You’re unstoppable.

Leadership Succession Planinng – Who can take the Reins?


You have been running a smooth and successful organisation. You are incredibly happy with your results and outcome. You’ve been hitting and achieving your goals. You are a success and there is no denying that. But, the time has come for you to step aside, to do the things you’ve always been dreaming of doing. The things you have been putting off because you’ve been busy with your business that you do not have time for it. You want that lifestyle where you can go on holiday without worrying about your business. Spend more time with your loved ones without checking on your emails every few seconds.  And be able to enjoy a well-deserved break with peace of mind.

There are also occasions when you or a member of your team become ill, wants to step aside, moves on from the business, retires or want to take a break from the business. In the absence of a succession plan, the news can be devastating and cause you sleepless nights and a lot of anxiety. You’ll find yourself repeatedly asking the same questions. Who can step up and take the reins? Who do you have in your business that can fill the role? Is it time to go head-hunting outside of your organisation to look for new talents to fill the gap?

Change is Inevitable

It is easier to put a leadership succession plan off especially when everything is going on well. Why wouldn’t you? Things are finally working just the way you want them to be. You worked so hard to get there. If it’s not broken, why fix it? But the reality is that human beings are dynamic, businesses are dynamic. Change is inevitable. You can plan and factor in change and be in control of the change. That way, you will have positive change and a positive experience. Or you can wait for accidental change to happen to you. That could create absolute chaos. It will lead to a lot of uncertainty. That may not be a bad thing. Uncertainty presents opportunities along with challenges. It is how you deal with these changes that will make all the difference. 

Leadership Succession Planning – The Next Generation of Leaders

Finding the next generation of leaders can be exciting but challenging. You will need to identify the skills, knowledge, and expertise that your business needs from the next generation of leadership. Do you need more of the same skills, knowledge and expertise? Or do you need something different?

Analysis reaffirms that having diverse leadership teams bring huge benefits to organisations. What will your next generation of leadership look like? How can you create a strong diverse team with the right skills, knowledge, and expertise as well as a passion for your business?

For you in a leadership position, succession planning is not an option. It’s an integral part of your responsibility and it can be a challenge. Executive coaching can help you work out a leadership succession plan It can help you identify what you and your business needs. Who you will need to bring into your business to help you in your journey? And to get you where you want to be? 

Executive coaching can help you identify the next generation of leaders. It can help focus your mind on what your business needs. Executive coaching can help equip the new generation of leaders and prepare them for tomorrow. It will help your next generation of leaders to develop passion, share in your vision and be onboard. It will give them the confidence to be innovative, to challenge the status quo. To build better relationships with their peers and their leaders.

Executive Coaching Prepares You

Executive leadership coaching prepares the next generation of leaders for the tasks ahead. Developing and nurturing the next generation of leaders can take time. But it is worth investing time, effort and money in developing talent.

Executive coaching

As an executive, when do you start thinking about your succession plan? When is the best time to find the next generation of leaders and when is the best time to develop them? You may be asking yourself: ‘what if I develop my top talent and they all leave?’ I would say to you: ‘What happens if you don’t develop them, and they all stay?’. It is a win-win for everyone – you, your business, your employees and your stakeholders.

If you invest in the next generation of leaders,  it makes your organisation and your brand stronger. It creates a better working environment. It leads to better engagement and an open culture where better relationships forge. And employees give you their best performance. You are able to spot issues before they become real issues and manage them appropriately. 

Executive coaching is a powerful tool that can aid you, your team and your next generation of leadership.  Executive coaching helps you become more self-aware.  It helps you gain clarity and be working towards achieving your organisational goal. Team performance and the advantages of working as a team is better understood.  You will gain a true sense of what it means to be part of an organisation that believes in coaching and has a coaching culture and environment. As you and your current leaders will know how beneficial coaching is and can see how the next generation of leaders will also benefit from it.

Think of what your business needs today and what it might need tomorrow to succeed. Who will you need in a leadership role? Where are they today? How can you develop them to ensure that they are ready for the challenge when the time comes?

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