4 Essential Tips for Outgoing Leaders
Make things go smoothly for your successors
Remember the challenges you faced when you accepted your recent leadership role? Did you have outgoing leaders supporting you? That opportunity is now yours—help make it a smooth transition for incoming successors with these outgoing leader tips, recommended, in part, by S. Chris Edmonds, a speaker, executive consultant and member of the Forbes Coaches Council:
- Pass the positivity forward
Recognizing that incoming leaders inherit more than a team’s strategy and goals—they also take possession of its energy and culture—the first step is to affirm your unique strengths in very concrete terms. Ensure your club and districts’ futures by pointing out how and why they work now. Be specific. Pinpoint the excellence and positive energy over the past year.
- Be transparent
On the flip side, outgoing leaders should also acknowledge any issues. If a project or tough situation has yet to be resolved, let your successor know. Communicate what has kept you up at night regarding this leadership role over the past year. Transparency is a very valued asset today; use it to your team’s future advantage.
- Make yourself accessible
Leadership transition has no set time limit. It’s not simply defined as a one-day, one-week or one-month process; ideally, the transfer of insight and information should be ongoing as needed. Offer your time for live calls and face-to-face meetings, even after the leadership torch has been passed. As any good leader knows, the learning continues long after you’ve stopped leading.
- Ask—and answer—the tough questions
While training new leadership, you want to ask yourself—and respond to in writing—some pertinent questions of preparation for incoming leaders:
- What was the most rewarding aspect of your position?
- What did you find most challenging?
- Name the internal and external resources you found to be most helpful; provide contact information and any appropriate notations/significant correspondence.
- Make a past calendar of events that took place when you were in leadership; indicate what you would like to see continue.
- Looking back, name one thing you wish you knew when you started this leadership role.
Consider making these questions and answers available at a pre-arranged meeting with your successor. It could be a cup of coffee or lunch. Make it formal but be sure to make it fun, too.