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How To Make A Successful Leadership Transition
#1
1. Do It In Good Times
When a business is having issues, that's one of the worst times to make a transition. If your startup is in rocky territory, both employees and clients could be uneasy about the future of your company. Making a transition during uneasy times could destroy morale, no matter how great the new leader is.

Unless your leader has been caught in the middle of some big public scandal or the business is suffering, maintain your leadership during rough times. When things are going well, start opening up the conversation to your new leader and let the team know what is happening. There's no better time to make a transition than when everyone is feeling good about the future of your company.

2. Show Respect To Everyone
Whether they were voted off the island or stepped down on their own, make sure you treat people who exit with the utmost respect. While people may not remember every great thing that leader did, they came to your company and worked to make the company a better place. They were brought on for a reason and that needs to be remembered.

While you may have grown apart or they didn't see eye to eye with you, their work deserves respect. When you badmouth someone after they leave, it can hurt the people who got along with that person or even the people who did work under them. Their good work and their commitment might feel abused or insulted if you say bad things about their former leader.

All of your employees will deal with change differently and in order to move forward, you should maintain a positive perspective. There could be a million reasons why a relationship didn't work out, but dwelling on them serves no one.

3. Consider Change To Be Productive
Encourage every employee to see this leadership change as part of the growth process. Take some time to work out why that could be and make a strong argument for it. The better you understand how this change will be good for your company, the better you can explain it to your employees.

People become complacent and comfortable with even the strangest circumstances. 

Policies and workplace cultures that make no sense can become part of how you do business, even if they're bad ideas. This time of leadership transition can be a great opportunity to do some cleanup and change your workplace for the better.

When people leave, they will leave a long shadow in which people will claim that the way they did things before was the better method. What their hurdle will be is to imagine how these things have been normalized. Even the strangest habits can become normal after a while.

Change can shake things up, cut out the fat and make your whole startup run more efficiently.

4. Take Up New Ideas
During your former leader's time in the position, it might have been hard for some employees to feel like their voice was being heard. They might have had trouble getting even smart and cost-saving initiatives backed by their former boss. Now is the time to let them know that you hear them.

A new leader needs to start by going on a sort of listening tour in the company. No gripe should be considered too small or too trivial. If an employee sees a problem, address it.

New and exciting ideas can grow from this new opportunity to change. Your new leader should be working with your old leader to implement a few creative changes that can engage your employees in new ways. When work starts to feel like a slog, it's hard to feel creative.

The best way to combat that is to give more creative tasks to your employees. Help them to collaborate and to try out some new tactics.

5. Focus On Communication
One of the things an old leader is sure to be remembered for is how they made everyone feel when they were in conversation. Your employees will remember if they didn't feel listened to or if they felt at odds with a former leader. It's up to the new leader to repair any broken trust.

The efforts your new leader should make is to first find out what the hurdles are to communication. They need to figure out why some people aren't speaking up or why voices are getting drowned out. This is an inevitability in every company and no kind of failure, but a transition is a perfect opportunity to fix it.

As a leader, you need to develop how you'll communicate with your employees and how they should communicate with you. There's no way you can lose with direct, honest and thoughtful communication. A good boss speaks confidently, but a good leader knows when to listen.

A Leadership Transition Should Be A Good Thing
Changing leadership because of a bad experience or because of public pressure is dangerous territory to navigate. The transition itself could overshadow any positive changes that could be made by your new leader. To ensure that your next leader can start with a clean slate, always speak positively and work to keep morale high.
"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations."
-From the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy
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