Is your time up as a leader?
None of us are destined to stay in the same role forever. Whether it’s age, a change of course or simply a case of ‘the right time’, there will be a time when you stop being a leader of an organisation. For many, these visions of change might hold images of spending weekends at the golf course, holidays on cruises or simply more time spent with family… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There are plenty of things you can be doing now to be preparing for life after leadership and to leave your current organisation on a good note.
Set your organisation up for success
To kick off a great post-leadership career, you need to leave on a good note. This means that you should still be pouring all your energy into leading your team to success until the day you walk out the door. It may seem obvious but there are plenty of ways leaders fall short in this area. Leading your team to success in your last days as leader can look like:
- Being a voice in the hiring of your replacement — whether the hire is internal or external, you know better than anyone what it’s going to take to lead your team.
- Succession planning well in advance — the point above will be a lot easier if you have been helping future leaders develop their skills, knowledge and attributes so that they’re ready to take over. Strategic and deliberate succession planning can only ever be a good thing for organisations.
- Ensuring there’s a smooth handover — don’t rush conveying processes, information etc to your successor
- Not dragging your feet — leaders can sometimes be reluctant to leave (even when they initiated the exit) and their successors, especially if they’re younger, can feel reluctant to take on new responsibility. Let your focus be on the transition — a long, drawn out handover can be frustrating for leaders, successors and teams alike.
- Engage in Corporate Social Responsibility — CSR is all about giving back to the communities and environments in which an organisation operates, through volunteering or ethically-oriented practices.CSR is often a priority for millennial led organisations but it is helping plenty of older leaders facing the latter-end of their career. The sooner you start, the sooner you can make a difference in the lives of others as well as in your own leadership journey.
Leadership is ever-evolving
No leadership position is forever. Your position evolves as someone new steps into it and all those skills you’ve learnt throughout the years will help your own leadership to evolve too. Whatever’s waiting for you on the other side of formal leadership, there will be plenty of opportunities before you walk out the door to pass on what you know to the younger generation.
Listening, delegating, conflict resolution, advocating, keeping calm and problem solving are all invaluable skills to have and, by the time you’re ready to step down formally as a leader, you should have years of practice up your sleeve. Mentoring is a great way both to pass on everything you’ve learnt over the years and to set up a connection that can last well-beyond your last day as leader of this organisation.
Are you ready to leave leadership? People Make the Difference can help you leave on a high note. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.