Mentoring to Replace Yourself

If something happened to you tomorrow, do you have a successor leader ready to take the helm?

In too many organizations, especially in a workplace where individuals are tasked with performing multiple roles, the process to identify, mentor and cultivate a replacement for you can be a haphazard approach to succession planning.  Not only is the process daunting, it is also a task that can easily get moved to the backburner.  And yet, when the need is immediate, an organization that doesn’t have a living, breathing succession plan in place risks itself when a less seasoned leader comes to the forefront.  An integral part of a succession plan is not only naming the successor, but mentoring that person, as well.

So, how can you mentor today in order to replace yourself tomorrow?  Are you a Transformational Leader that is creating positive change in your organization and looking to mentor for the same outcomes?  In previous blogs, I’ve talked about both Transformational Leadership and mentoring at great length, however, a quick review might be useful here.

Noted leadership scholar, James MacGregor Burns, is credited with the introduction of transforming leadership in 1978.  He explained this as a process in which “… leaders and followers help each other to advance to a higher level of morale and motivation.”  The transforming approach Burns developed creates “… significant change in the life of people and organizations by redesigning perceptions and values while changing expectations and aspirations of employees.”

Expert leadership researcher, Andrew Durbin, gives us nine qualities that enable leaders to drive transformation. These nine include charisma, emotional intelligence, vision, supportive leadership, empowerment, innovative thinking, leading by example, moral reasoning, and encouragement of staff development.  Do you possess these traits?  Can you identify how they are important within your organization to develop and maintain the path that you are engineering?

Since mentoring establishes a relationship between seasoned leaders and their less experienced counterparts, you must actively identify and mentor your replacement, NOW, in order to be confident of their abilities when it’s time for you to step down.

Identifying your strengths and weaknesses, identifying organizational values and aligning your strengths with them, establishing a formal mentor/mentee relationship…these are the steps to successfully be able and ready to step down with confidence when the time is right.

January is National Mentoring Month. What are you doing to celebrate?

Visit our online learning center and order our mentoring calendar.  This tool provides lists of specific activities to sustain mentoring activities throughout the year and can easily be customized for organizations.  Let us know if you need more information or would like to discuss implementing this solution for your organization.  We can help you turn your Insights into Action.

Boxer Advisors is a full-service consulting, training and coaching firm with more than 50 professional consultants, facilitators, and coaches and carefully selected partners providing services to Federal agencies and Fortune 1000 companies since 1996.

Contact us today to learn more.


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