Succession Planning—What a difference a few letters make

By Mac M. Martirossian, CPA

Success and Survival both start with the same two letters. But they have starkly different meanings when spelled out. The weakness in the global economy can force us to lose our vision of success and get consumed in burning our energy determined to survive.

Like all humans, we have choices in how we react and manage through these times. I say eject the tapes playing the Survival songs and insert the ones labeled Success. Despite what we desperately want to deny, the recession will come to an end…..by most accounts no later than the third quarter of 2010. The winners in this economy will be those who are planning NOW for when the turnaround occurs. That preparation can take many forms and functions, including planning for growth (no, that was not a typo). The recovery will bring opportunities for advancement within companies and thus advance preparation for having a qualified candidate to take your spot.

Here are five tips to consider for succeeding:

Be Positive—People like being around people who are positive, energetic and filled with attitude (the good kind). Communicate and share success stories about what you and others around you have done. Eliminate toxic relationships; let them focus on survival.
Plan Now—They call it succession planning for a reason. Professionals who are not in a position to succeed don’t need to be concerned with succession planning which by the way does not happen overnight. The cycle time can take 12 months or longer. Start planting the seeds for your successor in 2009 to allow for a successful completion in 2010.
Embrace Change—This is the time to listen with intensity, respond with urgency and serve with flexibility. Your team, your boss and your organization need you to be alert to their needs, passionate about reacting quickly and flexible with what comes your way. Change has come and we need to accept it and thrive in it.
Think Differently—Great leaders build great bench strength with high octane, high potential talent. By looking for your successor, you are adding value to the organization by building bench strength, instead of protecting your own turf.

Finally, and probably the most significant point:

No one and no event should define who you are. Successful professionals define their identity with their achievements, discipline and spirit. Success comes with deliberate actions which build for the future when the common person is looking to the past with despair over what was or could have been. The recession will test our ability to stay true to our Brand and who we are. Don’t let the investment in YOU get diluted by current conditions.

Find out how you can plan for your success and abandon thoughts of survival, by signing up for Succession Planning.

© 2009 MThree Advisory Services, LLC. All Right Reserved.


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