What do you want your legacy to be? Many company leaders need to answer that question honestly, even if only to themselves. If you want your company to continue on after your retirement, it may be time to find a successor so it doesn’t crumble when you leave. Aside from retirement, things can go wrong, so there should be other people in the organization who could do your job.

The great resignation and the wave of retirements that’s been happening has impacted the succession management plans of many companies. It could take years to put a plan into action and ensure everything’s running smoothly. When a slowdown or a crisis happens, you should not be trying to play catch up. Your construction company can best focus on strategic growth while business is good. If you wait too long to groom your successors adequately, you will most likely need to make harder decisions.

Choosing a replacement can be a three- to five-year process. Mentoring is a good way to get there. You should pair your up and coming leaders with senior leaders in the company. They can observe and learn from experienced senior leaders’ behavior.

In addition to the specialty areas where they perform best, your senior leadership team should know how your entire business runs, especially if you are currently the person pulling it all together.

In addition, your leaders should not be working in isolated silos. Each department impacts and has real world consequences for other departments. The structure and mindsets within those departments are important. They should be focusing their energy on gaining market share over your competitors. Innovation is a way to get there, and you shouldn’t be complacent on innovating just because things are good. Innovation ties in perfectly with leadership development.

Gen X, which is chronologically the next generation in line to assume leadership, may not have the desire to step into a leadership role. They are willing to do what’s required of them, but they may not be willing to lead. These were the first “latchkey” kids, many with two working parents. They learned early to function by and manage themselves. Because of their independent streak, many are not interested in managing other people or dealing with people problems. There will always be employees who are outstanding individual contributors but poor managers.  

Management styles are evolving to be more focused: personnel management (handling conflicts, coaching, performance appraisals) and operations management (making projects happen). A balance should be struck between results and relationships. Both are important and necessary to each other.

It’s a shift companies will need to make, and Gen Z, the youngest generation entering the workforce, is the group that will hasten that change. They are less likely to choose to work for somebody who’s not empathetic and providing constant feedback. They want to know where their next growth opportunities are and how they can enhance their performance.

If you want your business be your legacy long after you leave, you have to make the time now to equip it to do that.

Tune in to episode 131 of Bridging the Gap Podcast to hear more about future-proofing your company.

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