This 4 min. read saves you up to 40 hours
For your knowledge advantage, we put together the most actionable insights from 9 getAbstract summaries (8 books with a total of 1960 pages and one article) on this topic. If you did this work yourself, you would be busy for at least 2348 minutes (about 40 hours). Learn more.

How to Incorporate Your Successor…

…Without Embarrassing Yourself

How to Incorporate Your Successor…

At some point in every career, there comes a day when you have to pass on what you have learned to the person or persons who will do the job after you. If you follow a few simple rules, you’ll be doing the company, your successor and yourself a favor.

1. Succession Planning

Without a formal succession plan, the leaders of any organization of more than a few hundred employees can’t keep track of everyone critical to running the business, much less when they might leave and what it would take to replace them. You will find everything you need to execute an effective succession plan – templates, charts, worksheets and guides to best practices – in the following abstracts:

Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Passing The Torch
Book Summary

Passing The Torch

Know your talent pool – and be prepared for the departure of crucial executives and employees.

Norma Dávila and Wanda Piña-Ramirez ASTD Publications Read Summary
Image of: Effective Succession Planning
Book Summary

Effective Succession Planning

Don’t wait until your leaders leave to think about how you’ll replace them.

William J. Rothwell AMACOM Read Summary
Image of: CEO Succession
Book Summary

CEO Succession

The average CEO lasts seven years. What are you going to do when your Number One’s time is up?

Dennis C. Carey and Dayton Ogden Oxford UP Read Summary

If you have a vote about your successor, look for these qualities:

  • “Independence” – Your successor should have self-assurance. He or she can acquire confidence by leading projects in the company or by working elsewhere.
  • “Competence” – Candidates gain capabilities by experiencing all areas of the company, from top to bottom.
  • Interpersonal skills – Leaders must communicate well and understand other people on an emotional level.
  • A lack of entitlement – Individual successors should expect to succeed based on their merits and work as part of the team.

2. Succession Training Planning

When it comes to training your successor, remember that you are no longer alone in this position, and that talking through what you did (and how you did it) is valuable information, but not necessarily the way your successor will approach it. In the short time available (well, usually less than those certainly needed six months), develop a good relationship with your successor, establish trust and provide more information rather than less.

You should introduce, not determine.


Develop goals for each week and month of your succession training. Your successor should, for example:

  • Attend frequent one-on-one meetings (lasting at least 60 minutes) with you.
  • Refine his or her understanding of your industry by attending conferences, talking to your customers and peers.
  • Visit the relevant departments of your company.

Make sure to integrate him or her into your meetings and running projects, and give him or her more and more responsibility at regular intervals.

Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Successful Onboarding
Book Summary

Successful Onboarding

Your company can tap into valuable resources with a systemic onboarding program

Lilith Christiansen and Mark A. Stein McGraw-Hill Education Read Summary
Image of: 6 Tips for Training Your Remote Employees
Article Summary

6 Tips for Training Your Remote Employees

Online learning for remote workers should be interactive, self-directed and tailored to individual learning styles.

Kat Boogaard Go Skills Read Summary
Image of: Onboarding
Book Summary


Intelligent onboarding: the key to increasing employee productivity and retention

George Bradt and Mary Vonnegut Wiley Read Summary


  • Polish your successor’s skills by pairing him or her with mentors who can impart insider tricks and instincts. The most effective mentors are people in your industry, but consider involving stakeholders from inside and outside your company. Mentors should have time to dedicate to their protégés.
  • Take time to familiarize your successor with the company’s standards (structures, policies, best practices, pitfalls, key colleagues, etc.) and give him or her enough time to ask questions. He or she will likely have plenty of these – so always try to have an open ear.
  • Give your successor a list of people he or she can contact if you don’t have time to answer questions yourself.
  • Keep an eye on any soft skills that the successor may still be lacking and that are important for the job in question. Tell stories about how you yourself had to learn to improve these soft skills – usually, these anecdotes are highly useful and make follow-up questions superfluous.
  • If your company works with a talent development model – and talent developers assigned to individual succession steps – make use of their expertise. Let them monitor and adjust successor development plans as changes and challenges arise. If you’re running a family business, find more special advice here.
Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Mastering Coaching
Book Summary

Mastering Coaching

Coaching legend Max Landsberg supplies valuable tools and techniques that coaches can use to help their clients or employees and themselves.

Max Landsberg Profile Books Read Summary
Image of: The Coaching Habit
Book Summary

The Coaching Habit

Asking “seven essential questions” can improve your executive coaching skills.

Michael Bungay Stanier Box of Crayons Press Read Summary
Image of: The Weekly Coaching Conversation
Book Summary

The Weekly Coaching Conversation

Sound team leadership requires great coaching: Give your team members a lot, and you’ll get a lot in return.

Brian Souza ProductivityDrivers Read Summary

3. A Word on Communication

In the interest of your successor, refrain from overloading him or her and causing confusion – remain factual, positive, goal-oriented and friendly. Don’t hesitate to communicate potential challenges, but don’t exaggerate.

You may be done with it, but he or she is just getting started.

Once things are over, you can always give your colleague your phone number; and later, over a drink, offer tips on how to deal with negative aspects of his or her new (and your old) job.

How the Journal Saves You Time
Reading Time
4 min.
Reading time for this article is about 4 minutes.
Saved Time
40 h
This article saves you up to 40 hours of research and reading time.
Researched Abstracts
9 We have curated the most actionable insights from 9 summaries for this feature.
1 1 Article
8 We read and summarized 8 books with 1960 pages for this article.
Share this Story