There have been a few big shake ups recently in the world of highly visible organisations; Apple lost Steve Jobs and that will have a huge impact on the company – or will it?  Ok, he was the founder and visionary for the business and products but if he has done his planning right, which after reading his biography and learning his attention for every detail (down to the pixels in the text on a screen!) then he has probably planned his successor and groomed him or her into the role for a while.

Rob Fyfe has announced he is leaving as head of Air New Zealand, again a very visble role and given the impact he has had on the business will be leaving some pretty big shoes to fill.  These are just some of the well known and publicised businesses we hear about but what of the thousands and thousands of businesses we never hear of, like yours for example?

Career Progression

Career progression is a natural driver and we all need to know where we are going and that we are progressing at some point or another.  The barriers we often see though are things that can hold us back and then one of two things will happen – we will either give up and accept the status quo or we will leave the organisation in frustration meaning the business suffers.

Jim Collins produced a couple of best selling business books – Built to Last and Good to Great. In these books he talks about the concepts of leadership and how that impacts the future of the businesses, such as being a charismatic leader like Lee Iacocca who ran FORD and Chrysler Motor Companies.  The downside of this type of leadership is when the person moves on they leave a vast gap behind them which others struggle to fill.

What type of leader are you?  Are you holding people back for fear being shown up? Do you see others around you as competition instead of team mates?  What impact is your leadership having on the long term viability of your business?

Part of succession planning is not only developing yourself but ensuring that when you are ready to move on you have groomed a successor for your role.  If you don’t then you are being negligent in your role and responsibility as a leader of your business.


You may not even be thinking of moving in your current role however what are you doing for the people around you? Are you actively involving them and developing them or are you holding them back for fear of competition?

Identify the key people around you and develop them or you will lose them.

Identify your leadership style and know your strengths and weaknesses then face them!

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