How to Prepare for Leadership Transitions
Businesses rise and fall based on how they handle transitions. These are the moments when mistakes are made or opportunities are created. Even though we know transitions happen and they will affect our business, rarely are we prepared to leverage these moments for good.
Transitions happen. As a leader, you need to be prepared.
Transitions are stressful. They require actions that shock the system and cause people to do things they normally do not do. They bring up fears of the unknown and raise the stress level for many people. For organizations going through a period of transition, the stress level and energy required can be exhausting.
Since transitions are a part of life, it makes sense to prepare for them and be ready when the time comes. How does your business handle transitions?
A leadership transition will alter the atmosphere of your organization. It will increase the stress and anxiety of your employees and impact the personal lives of many people. A transition might require someone to uproot their family and move to a new city, or it may create the opportunity for someone to retire and live the life they have dreamt of for years. Either way, transitions have the ability to cause issues for your company and you need to be prepared for it.
Here are a few key tips to help you prepare for your next transition.
REALIZE IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU
You will experience a transition. It is inevitable. There will come a moment where you are the incoming successor to an existing role, or you are trying to find the replacement to fill your position. Realizing it will affect you and your family is step one.
Your primary role as a leader is to create the environment for employees to thrive. When a transition happens or is on the horizon, the need for you to step up and provide a calming voice is a necessity. Your team is looking to you for guidance. They want to know it is going to be ok. Even if the change is needed, they will have elevated levels of anxiety because something is changing. Humans do not like change. It scares us. Your team will remember your leadership in times of transitions more than they remember your day-to-day actions.
CHANGE IS SCARY
When we talk about transitions, we are really talking about change. Change is scary. It frightens us because it is unknown. Most people would rather endure a bad situation where they know what to expect, rather than go through changes that could be worse or could be better. Your role is to acknowledge the elevated stress level among the group and create the environment for success to happen. How you handle transitions in your business tell more about your leadership ability than almost any other time.
CHANCE TO RESET
A transition also provides an opportunity to hit a reset button. If there is something you want to do differently, use this opportunity as a catalyst for other changes to occur. Transitions are healthy and can provide your business with new opportunities. If you've messed up in the past or are looking for a new way in the future, use a transition as a chance to reset.