Exit Stage Left – Making a Smooth Transition for the New Generation – Week 4

Week 4: Leaving?  Check In Later

The big day has arrived. All of your financial documents have been reviewed, your successor has been announced and you are finally able to step back from the rigors of your business. Whether you are serving as the Chairman of the Board or simply the Chairman of Your Recliner at Home, you will want to stay engaged in your company in some form or fashion.

Your executives, investors and staff share an interest in guaranteeing that leadership changes hands smoothly. And you as an outgoing executive will also have much to gain: The value of stock options and holdings in your retirement plan will depend on the company’s future performance and will directly reflect on the value of your legacy.

Leaving the CEO or President position can be difficult, but there are options for you to check in later and monitor the future progress and financial health of your business. Here are the options:

First 30 days: Stick around. Attend a few meetings with the new executive and endorse his or her knowledge, savvy and amazing ideas for the future of the company. Your in-person recommendation at client meetings may quell any fears that your existing clients have about keeping on with your company.

First 90 days: Review the company client lists. Are your 20-, 30- and 40-year relationships still being maintained since the transition? You will also want to determine how much new business has been generated since your departure.

First 180 days:  Meet with the CEO 1:1. How have they found adjusting to your role to be? Do they have any additional questions for you? Your input is invaluable and may help the new CEO make any needed corrections quickly, or inspire new creativity among leadership.

After the first year: Review the annual report. Which goals were achieved and which ones were missed? What trajectory has your company taken? Will you give this CEO or President one more year or will you join the Advisory Board in a search for a new superstar?

When was the last time you had to coach an individual or team through a new situation? Tell us your story!