Why You Should Hire Your Replacement

I've been involved in a number of succession planning conversations this week and thought of this post from the archives about planning for your own departure.

Let's face it, we are all going to leave our jobs one day. Hopefully by choice but one way or another, it will happen.

Who will fill your shoes when you do?



The November 2010 issue of Healthcare Leadership Review provided an excerpt from the article, "Hiring Your Replacement," where the author wrote, "Although hiring your replacement might seem counterintuitive, doing so will help secure your organization's succession planning and business continuity." And, he provided a few steps for doing so which included: hiring smart people, measuring cultural fit, letting them succeed and losing you ego.

The part about losing your ego really rang true to me as I looked back through my career to supervisors, managers, and leaders blue in the face and fingers holding tight to "their" people, processes, and paper. They were hurting everyone - and themselves. Get a life outside of work comes to mind, but I digress.

As a developing workforce succession planner, I appreciate it when successors are available for our key positions. Having done replacement planning for more than a few years because succession pipelines were not in place, I know that having successors makes sense all around.

But if doing it for the company is not what gets you going, how about doing it for you? There are a few selfish reasons for hiring your replacement (and I ask readers to join in with some of their own) and here thoughts on what's in it for you (WIIFY):

  • More noodle time (great ideas)
  • 2 heads are better than 1 (better ideas)
  • Benefit of another's perspective (well rounded thoughts)
  • Get to develop potential in another (leader who cares)
  • Ability to fill in knowledge, skill and experience gaps (better performance=better reviews)
  • Opportunity to do the things you never seem to get to (no to-do list=peace of mind)
  • Real-time chance to refine your coaching and mentoring skills (leader who can be trusted)

Not your thing? Then how about your own personal minion, someone to do the things you really don't like to do, a new Sunshine Fund owner, and someone to route annoying sales and data collection calls to?

Listen, hiring a replacement who shares your vision and can deliver on your goals will make your life easier and will make everyone, especially you, look that much better. Do this one thing right and you'll continue to look good even after you're gone.

What ever your reason, whatever your motivation - just do it. Hire your replacement and be sure she is ready to step in when the needs arises. 

It is the right thing to do.

The Right Way to Transition to a New Career

Is there a right way to transition to a new career?

No, there is not. Oh, everyone will have an opinion on what you should do and how you should do it but the only "right" way is the way that works for you and your family.

Here's how the husband is going about it . . . 

He is exercising more, reconnecting with family and friends on Facebook, planning a mid-week winter fishing trip and preparing to return the favor of care he received during his heart surgery as a volunteer with Mended Hearts.

But, it's not all fun and games.

He's writing resumes, reaching out to references and tweaking his LinkedIn profile. He's attending classes with the Minnesota Workforce Center where he is developing a Career Performance Portfolio, completing a vocational profile, taking the MBTI, and acing the assessments for a top-graded National Career Readiness Certificate.

His confidence is building and he's got his feet firmly planted on the ground as he is unwinding, relaxing and preparing himself for his next career move. It's interesting to watch.

I never had a job loss of my own but, if I did, this is not how I would have gone about it.

I would have had my resume out there the day I received the layoff notice and would have been doing anything and everything I could to find a job. I would have went with a job I know because it would have been a sure bet and I would have found a position before my last day ever came.

And it would have been a mistake.

When in our adult lives do we ever give ourselves permission to step off the hamster wheel? To assess where we've been and to reassess where we want to go? To stop and actually see what we have and to appreciate it for what it is - nothing more and nothing less?

When I make my next career move, I am taking a page from my husband's book and am going to take the time to stop and smell the roses.

It's the right way to transition to a new career.

<It's my blog, I can say that. I can also tell the husband to can the roses for Valentines Day and pocket the cash for our vacation to the lands of butter beer and quirky boutiques>

Photo credit iStockphoto