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If you’re thinking about succession, a good starting point is to ask your subordinates to write a detailed list of everything you currently do that they can’t do, or are not proficient in. Then, develop a custom curriculum incorporating each item. Now, deliberately train your staff on those items. Sometimes, you may need to hire to fill unbridgeable skills gaps.

Sometimes, to build your subordinates’ self-confidence, get them to apply for fellowships, to participate in executive development programmes or even to facilitate training sessions within your company. In doing so, they will build their own networks and become comfortable in their knowledge. Mentoring should also be deliberate and have clear outcomes.

If you don’t document everything, including contacts and procedures, you’re not building an institution or enabling your subordinates to function without you.

If when you’re on vacation, your clients are still calling you or sending emails, then they don’t trust your subordinates’ competence. Sometimes, you need to let your staff attend to those emails and calls. Even if they fail, they’ll learn to take responsibility. You’ve got to help them to understand that the buck stops with them in your absence.

Please take succession seriously unless you plan to handle minutiae when you’re older. And when you find great managers, please pay them well, take an interest in their lives and develop them. You may choose to train multiple people to reduce key man risk as some people may leave. So, create a strong pipeline of managers.

How to Prepare for Succession (If You're Serious) Click To Tweet