Business people are often very poor at thinking about who would take their place, their successor, should the worst happen to them. Who should you be starting to coach to be your second in command? Well, here are some thoughts on the kind of individual you’re looking for (not in any particular order of importance).
The list below excludes job specific qualities as these will differ widely depending on your industry or specialism.
1. They consistently deliver results – On time, at the right quality and budget.
2. They continuously demonstrate growth, flexibility, and learning better and faster than their peers.
3. They seize the opportunity for challenging, bigger projects, to increase their skills and experience.
4. They are good judges of character, spotting talent and finding ways to nurture good people.
5. They come to the point quickly, are clear thinkers, and will always have a point of view – even if it’s a contentious one.
6. They ask incisive questions that open minds and encourage thought in others.
7. They perceptively judge their own direct reports, have the courage to give them honest feedback so the direct reports develop; they do something about it if a direct report is failing.
8. They know the non-negotiable criteria of the job of their direct reports and match the job with the person; if there is a mismatch they deal with it promptly.
9. They make good decisions, quickly. They gather as much information as quickly as possible, and more often than not, the decision they make is usually one that you can stand behind.
10. They are Change Catalysts, initiating change and getting behind cultural changes happening inside your business.
11. They have a passion for work and are high energy in nature. They aren’t slaves to the company, but they give 110% while they are working, and they are willing to go the extra mile and pitch in to help out when help is needed.
12. They are marketing savvy. They understand the trends in the marketplace, know how to help the company extend the brand so that customers are clear about your company and receive the best brand experience.
13. They anticipate. Leaders need to be able to think ahead, to spot trends and be able to build plan ‘B’s before they’re needed.
14. Emerging leaders need to be able to communicate their message effectively in many ways – Face to face, video / audio conference, presentations, written and via social media.
15. They must be a team player and collaborator. They need to be able to seek out the opinion of others and enrol the team in the direction of established goals and the vision for your company.
I’m sure you can think of more, would be great to hear from you . . .