How to achieve a smooth transition of leadership in your business

Wednesday February 3, 2021

A transition of power usually brings about change, which can be a good thing when managed well. However, the process doesn’t come without its challenges.

We need only look back to January when one of the most public and emotionally charged leadership transitions took place across the pond, to understand that change is not always well received, and the fall out can be catastrophic.

Whether stepping into someone else’s shoes or creating a brand-new role for themselves, new leaders can first find themselves on a bit of an uphill climb.

Many businesses are currently operating remotely or under unusual circumstances due to the ongoing pandemic. So this can be a particularly testing time. However, finding the right people to lead your business to success is paramount.

What makes a leader?

When you look at the skills needed to be a leader you will see why not all managers are natural leaders, although many of these skills can be developed.

Whilst good managers set goals, controlling work and risk to achieve them, a leader will inspire the people working for them to go that extra mile.

Leaders create trust by demonstrating their passion for the business and finding innovative solutions to support their team. This illustrates their sound judgement.

Strong leaders will be needed at every level to drive the business in the challenging year ahead.

How to find those leaders?

An internal promotion has the advantage of the candidate having prior knowledge of the company and people. It is, though, beneficial to test this against external candidates by looking for those essential skills.

Psychometric assessments can provide a good insight into characteristics, and an in-depth competency-based interview explores these further. We can help with personality profiling and framing those interview questions for you.

With internal candidates, it can be tempting to skip the induction and throw them in at the deep end, making the assumption that knowledge of their old job is sufficient. However, this is a new role for them, and time spent planning and executing a thorough induction will pay dividends.

Conversely, an external candidate will need an understanding of the culture within the organisation to complement their technical skills.

Both types of candidate will need to see your passion and understand where the business is going.

Communication

The new leader’s role will be accepted more readily by the team if the transition from the old to the new is well communicated and framed in a positive way.

If the previous leader was well respected their endorsement of the incoming leader will help enormously. Keep the team informed at all times to assist a smooth transition.

Thinking ahead

Your business may have gone through some changes as a result of the pandemic, and it’s possible there may be more ahead.

It’s never too early to start identifying and developing future leaders amongst your team, helping you to have the right people in the right place when you need them.

If this is something you are currently thinking about, we run an Effective Team Leadership course, and can help you nurture and place the leaders that your business needs to succeed.

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