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Even though you may love your work, it’s not feasible to work for the rest of your life. One of the ways that you can prepare yourself for your inevitable departure from the company is to pick a successor that has both you and your company’s best interests at heart. You can do many things to ensure you choose the right successor for your company. 

Look to your company’s future

You don’t have to have a crystal ball to understand the projections that your company is set to face over the next couple of years. Understanding where your company stands in the industry will help you nail down what traits your successor will have to overcome. When creating a strategy based on your company’s future is one great way for you to be able to understand what needs to be done. 

Resource development

When looking for people to take your place, you’re looking at their potential, not where they are today. This especially applies to your internal candidates, as they’re the people you will be working with over the next couple of years to get them ready to take your place. If you’re looking through external candidates, however, you’re probably going to be searching with a firm; their work in other parts of the organization can help you see whether they’re going to be the right fit. Investing the time and money it takes to develop the skills of the executives, both internally and externally, is incredibly important. 

Selecting the right candidate

When the time nears to select the candidate, you will want to create a list of a couple of executives you have in mind to take your place. Then, put them through an interview process and ask them how they would lead the organization over the next five to ten years. This will allow you to see who has the vision that aligns with your ideals, enabling you to pick the best candidate for the job. 

See if they’re the right fit in practice

The last thing you want to do is throw your successor in the ring without having any prior practice. One thing that you can do is have the person you’ve chosen help take over some of your daily responsibilities. This gives them not only the opportunity to practice as if they were really in your position but also gives you the ability to assess where your successor may need extra training or development. 

Make the transition

Now that you’ve gone through the steps necessary to get to this point, it’s finally time to make the transition. To do a successful transition, however, you must be available for the onboarding process and even the first year of the new CEO’s role. You mainly want to ensure that when you transition the job to your successor, they understand the job’s ins and outs. This is done by ensuring that they have ample time to look at the hand-offs with the outgoing CEO and familiarize themselves with the areas they need to focus on. 

You can create a plan for your successor that includes milestones they should hit throughout their first year. You can also create a coaching plan that allows them to have that support still when needed.