Succession plan from day one February 2, 2012

Think of your successor.

Think of the person who had your job before you. Did they leave things in pristine condition, allowing you to easily pick up where they left off and start delivering results immediately?

You will not be working in the same position in the Company forever. In fact, you will not work with the Company for ever, either – one day, you will move on to brighter things! Staff turnover is a fact of business life in any young dynamic organisation. Of course, staff must be able to take leave, without our relationships of the business’ productivity being affected.

From your first day of working with the Company to the last, every interaction you have with an outside party must reflect this – the Company must be able to function efficiently using the relationships you forged, when you are not available. These relationships are owned by the company and must be transparent and open.

While working for the Company, relationships you form with people and other companies may often have a personal and friendly side, but never forget that the relationship is for the benefit of the Company, not you personally. This means, for example, that any written communication must be addressed to your role title, not your name (that way, when you move on, mail gets to the right person – your replacement, and the admin staff do not have to waste time changing contact information. Gifts (in the form of tangible things, discounted rates for personal matters, etc) must be declared to your manager.

Any interaction you have with a company must be logged in the appropriate database (models, profiles), to ensure we have all the info we might need months and years in the future.

Always be thinking of your successor – decisions you make now may affect the company and the people working in it years in the future, so always approach and document with this in mind.

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