Manbir Kaur – Helping Leaders, Teams & Organizations

As per Wikipedia, “Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing new leaders who can replace old leaders when they leave, retire or die. Succession planning increases the availability of experienced and capable employees that are prepared to assume these roles as they become available.”

In VUCA world, as fast pace growth and changes create new opportunities on regular basis. “Succession” too happens at a rapid pace.

An Executive was eyeing a key role in his company.  In fact, he had been working for the person who held that position for more than two years. He had demonstrated his capability on multiple occasions. He had established his loyalty and dedication with his actions.

He believed he was the most eligible person to succeed his boss when the right time comes.


He was thoroughly disappointed when they announced a successor to his boss from outside his department. The new person was from his own company but had not been working for his domain for last few years. Now he had to report to him and continue the same work as before. He felt disheartened by the development and felt that he had been cheated.

But exploring with him on this, it came out that he was never in the “Succession Planning”. For all key positions, succession planning is a route and if you are not in the list, most probably you are not going to get that position.

These are following points one should keep in mind if eyeing to be the successor –

  • You need to have that dialogue with your Manager, about considering you as a successor. He must have the confidence to propose your name.
  • Ask him and your HR prime about what other experiences are required for you to be considered a successor for the role.
  • Make sure you seek support to gain those experiences.
  • Do have this conversation in your skip-review meeting.
  • Make sure you are already performing at that level and expectations.

Remember that if you are not in the “Succession Planning”, all your hard work may still not result into your promotion.

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