I recently was asked by a client; how do I replace me?  I want to retire and enjoy life with my wife and family.  Sounds familiar?

Every Owner, MD, CEO will always have a game plan but very few have an exit strategy.  Why?  The work is not yet complete.  I have one more year left in the tank.  This new product/service could be a financial game changer.  What will I do with all the time?  And so on.

  1. Discuss the change with family members first, before approaching the Executive Team. They need your support and you need theirs, through what is a very busy and possibly stressful period of transition.
  2. Once you have them onside it is time to approach the board and inform them of your intent. They will be either relieved or very sad!  Depending on ownership of the business and management design you will be wanting to retain control of the process.
  3. Be prepared to be the advisor not the authority in this mission critical talent search. There will be people internally who want the role, but you will need to manage expectations and your vision for the future.
  4. Seek external advice who network daily with business leaders. It’s ultimately your last call so create the legacy; families and communities depend on it.
  5. Many people want to find their identical twin. It’s an impossible search for any internal or external Executive Search team.
  6. Your vision and the culture will identify attract and hire this person. Ensure that the vision is agreed with the board and nothing is set to change over the next twenty-four-month should all economic factors continue.
  7. Be prepared to a six-month to twenty-four-month handover. Every business will be different and require a flexible approach.  You will need to be prepared that the recruitment and on boarding process could take up to and beyond a year.
  8. How will you approach the onboarding and working alongside yourself? The decision and direction of the business is still yours but now you have a shadow and they want to start making a mark.  Be the guardian, ensuring the business continues to be inspired and profitable but above all, be flexible and open to ideas, the future is changing and its exciting.

For more information about Succession planning…How do I replace me, please contact Johnny Fieldhouse who will provide a consultative approach; insights@popsel.com