The Pursuit of Happiness…

business succession planning career advancement opportunities career development examples of career pathways growth leadership culture leadership development opportunity professional development strategic goals strategic leadership succession planning Nov 08, 2022
examples of career pathways

There’s one important thing we’ll have to do if we want to have any hope of creating a succession plan where the right people are in the right seats on our bus… We’ve got to know our team; I mean really know them! We need to understand how we can communicate with them most effectively, we need to know what tasks they get the most fulfillment from, and we’ll even do well to know what drives them to get out of bed each morning… Then we need to do every possible thing within our power to connect each of those things with the vision we have for where our team members fit in that succession plan!

As we started down this path, I shared a few statistics showing that many folks (especially millennials) place more value on opportunities for growth and development than they do on salary alone. I’ll take that one step farther and say that the last time I made a career move for a higher wage was when I was 19 years old; almost 27 years ago! Every new role I’ve taken on since has been far more about the opportunity it would provide me for future growth and development - and I’m not even a millennial!

Close to 250 years ago, Thomas Jefferson actually emphasized the importance of opportunity when he listed the pursuit of happiness as one of the unalienable rights we’re each endowed with by our Creator. With that being such a critical piece in the foundation of our great nation, should we even be surprised that close to 80% of the workforce in any given organization is less than actively engaged? As it did two and a half centuries ago, opportunity does indeed still trump immediate income! Don’t get me wrong here… We each need to earn a living, but when that’s the only thing we’re showing up for we often have an emptiness that needs filled..

That’s where we, as leaders, can make a significant impact in the lives of our team members - and in building strategic succession plans for our organizations! And knowing each of those things I listed earlier about each of our team members makes that possible. This is where we can get really intentional about providing opportunities for growth - opportunities for the pursuit of happiness - for our team members!

Before we look at how we can best learn each of those things about our team members though, we need to develop a clear understanding that growth in our organizations can never come through a one-size-fits-all approach. The best succession plans include various career paths so we can provide our great team members with opportunities to thrive in the fit that’s best for them - and we’ll look at that more next time…