Friday, August 16, 2013

Succession Planning - a Leadership Challenge

We talk so much about succession planning, but never do this or never get around to it. Some say, that gone are the days when we used to be scared to have individuals identified that could be mentored, even given the reins from time to time to groom for succession planning. I say, its well entrenched in the mindset of the Leaders we have today and there is still quite a gap from where we need to be from where we are.

There is also the conundrum of new vs. old blood from a standpoint of internal experience and not a reflection of individual age. Experience within an organization speaks volumes to internal growth, stability & momentum. In some cases, external voices provides balance, perspective and unbiased approach to growth & visioning as you position yourself towards the next horizon. have one simple ask from those recruiting for their next Leader - regardless of where the candidate comes from, include those who this person would lead. Yes, some people believe it is a odd to have future employees decide your fate for recruitment or renewal, but it speaks volumes to your role as a Leader and your Leadership profile. Let them be a voice, in fact be courageous & encourage it.

For those who are currently Leaders, I also have one simple ask of you - motivate & mentor those you lead. Give them a shot, they will surprise you. You have the position and yet they choose to follow you. Give them the reins and see if they are capable of running the show. If they can, you know who you can rely on when you need to take your long deserved siesta in the Mediterranean waters, and if not, if they show promise, groom them. It is a gratifying experience to grow individuals to the next elevation - education exists in all forms and in all places, especially in the workplace. Practicality & applicability of theoretical approaches are only learned in the workforce and teach them, let them have an appreciation of your day and perhaps you may receive multiple benefits in doing so:
  1. Walk in my shoes for a day - You won't need to say that any more. Appreciating each others complexity of roles & requirements is a challenge and this individual(s) can become your ambassador.
  2. Educate, Motivate & Elevate - Put on your educators hat and show them the ropes. Pass on your sage advice, your learnings and let it live through not just this one individual, but the multitudes thereafter that will have a similar experience through a trickle down learning philosophy.
  3. Relax - You may find someone that could help you, perhaps even share some of the burden of some of the larger stressors, perhaps even cover for you while you are taking you well deserved rest.
  4. Good Karma - Yes its important. Getting gratification from just doing a good job at work is not enough; through some variety in there, get some gratification from the appreciation you receive from those that you Lead. It is a phenomenal high.
Succession planning, can be a forced exercise, but for those that follow the Bottom-Up model of Leadership I profess as the key to a successful organization, this will be second nature. Just remember, this is not about replacing you, but if you are concerned about that and it is a valid concern, then perhaps you have other things you need to work on...

Positions can be filled, People can never be replaced. Organizations will continue, the world will not come to an end, you may be forgotten & they could lose your essence. Leave that mark, Grow your Legacy.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Transitions - so many meanings ...

Transitions is a bit of a cathartic word for us at WeUsThem Inc. - one of my latest ventures. We have as a group moved from focusing primarily internationally to focusing more on clients within our local market. We have come to the realization that there are some great projects to be had here as well and although we will continue to serve our clients internationally, we plan to push further with enticing clients with our level of work, here in Canada, and more specifically in the Atlantic region.

As we transitioned from where we had our focus and the type of work we did, we also took a bit of a transition into what has turned out to be a phenomenal piece of work and an equally impressive client. We have recently worked with & Dr. Stan Kutcher in revamping what is a seminal resource for students & youth alike transitioning from schools to universities that is truthfully a resource that can be used both pre and post that transition point.

Transitions, as the resource is called, is the first of its kind nationally and will make its way to the hands of educators, health care professionals, parents, counselors, concerned citizens and of course the youth in short order through a variety of mechanims, be it within their schools, at the universities, not for profits, directly from or a variety of partners that I'm sure will want to ensure they can facilitate its delivery.

The rumour mill tells me that there will be an official launch forthcoming for the resource and there are quite a few interested parties that will be both endorsing and supporting the resource. It is no surprise that this resource has received this level of attention & feedback, as the subject matter is being delivered by an expert in the field. Our role in bringing the content to light through imagery, visualization and contextual placement through layouts, design & illustrations have only added to what is leading edge evidenced based content.

What is impressive about this entire experience is the level at which the material has been written, which is a healthy blend of evidenced based subject matter, written for their target demographic, the youth. The fact that there has been a clear understanding that at times large resources like this are hard to carry around, and therefore a pocket/passport version of it has been created as well is a key indication of understanding the pulse of the audience.

Upon Dr. Kutcher's insistence, it is noteworthy that the resource is being offered at no cost online on the web site at: Apple App Store App, which is both interactive & informative providing even for a self assessment, is being offered at no cost at:
In addition to the free versions, a minimal cost for print versions are being offered through Amazon at:
Large Version:
Pocket Version:
Ironically, Amazon has taken it upon themselves to provide this at a further discount as well.

In addition to all the mediums above, the resource is also being made available as an eBook/iBook through the Apple iBookStore at:

A recognition that the print version no longer is the only method for obtaining such education & information is a clear indication of the modalities of learning being applied at Health information presented & delivered in a fashion that is holistic, yet accessible is uniquely unavailable these days and to see one beating the norm is certainly a laudable pursuit.

Congrats to, Dr. Kutcher & their team on Transitions and we do appreciate being able to partner with them on this fabulous initiative.