Leadership Exit Strategy

Leadership Tips – Exit Stage Left….

I was working in my capacity as a leadership coach this week, with a client this week who runs a lovely and successful small business.  He is approaching retirement (or rather he would like to retire soon) but can’t see how he is going to do it.  He definitely wants to step back at least partially from the business in the very near future – but currently has no confidence that he would be able to do so.  And therefore the prospect of ultimately being able to sell the business looked to him like a pipe dream…..at the moment.

The Leader Wears Many Hats

You see  – the business relies on him.  As well as being the leader,  he is the main salesperson and ‘networker’ of the business.  He is also the chief technical person in the business.  He is also the Operations Manager, and the HR Manager, not to mention the CFO and the MD.  Is this sounding familiar at all?

And whilst he has a team around him, he does not have the confidence in the team being able to run the business successfully without him.  And do you know what – right at this moment he is probably right.  But he is a self fulfilling prophecy.

Because he doesn’t think his team has the skills to do some of the stuff he does, he will not delegate it.  And because he will not delegate it he sees no value in training them to do it – and can’t ‘make the time’ to do it.  And the problem with that is – well, it is a vicious circle isn’t it.  Unless you make the time to delegate properly which involves assessing someone’s skills and upskilling where required,   then you will never BE able to delegate.  And the cycle goes on.

Mind Reprogramming

The whole process involves some mind reprogramming – YOURS.   First you have to make a decision that being able to delegate and therefore eventually step back from the business IS TMIT (The Most Important Thing).   Then, you have to do a skills analysis – who has what skills and who needs which skills going forward. (And that must include your own Leadership skills).    After that you need to prioritise and plan which training will be given to who and when.  And then you have to do it.  And finally you have to delegate and let them get on with it – with appropriate checking back and reporting processes in place so that you know things are being done.


Oh and a couple of caveats.  If you are expecting people to do things EXACTLY as you do them – you are always going to be disappointed.  YOU are You.  No-one else is YOU and so no-one else can do the stuff YOU do exactly as YOU do it.  But guess what?  They don’t need to.  They may not be perfect but they are probably good enough.  And (perish the thought) they might even be better.  Different but better.

The second caveat is that there must be trust on both sides.  They will only trust you if they know what to do, how and when to do it, and know that YOU trust them.  They must also know and understand that it progresses them and their own development, and that you have given them the tools and skills they need to do it.

You will only trust them if the above is all true.

So – do YOU trust your team?   Can you leave them to get on with things themselves?  Would you be able to leave your business either now or in the future? Do you have the Leadership Skills to create Leaders in your business?

If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure” – get in touch.  Or click on the link below to get your free reports on ‘How to Get Your Teams to Do Anything and Still Have a Smile on Their Faces’.



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