When it comes to grooming future leaders, organizations already have a tremendous resource in the form of their existing leaders. By encouraging these leaders to become mentors, they can not only pass along their experience and institutional knowledge but also help to create a sense of continuity for employees throughout the organization. A succession situation can be far less stressful when everyone has some familiarity with the potential candidates and trusts that they’ve been well-prepared for the role.

The importance of a mentor is difficult to overstate. Implementing a mentorship strategy as part of succession planning shouldn’t be done haphazardly, however. Here are a few tips for how to use a mentor in successful succession planning:

Pick the Right Mentor

One of the biggest challenges of a successful mentoring program is matching candidates with the right mentor. This person not only needs to possess the skills, knowledge, and experience that the candidate could benefit from, but also has to be committed to putting in the work associated with mentorship. Being a mentor is distinct from training or coaching, but they should not be an entirely informal role model. The candidate isn’t there to hear stories about the early days of the mentor’s career, they want to learn how to apply the skills and strategies that will make them more effective leaders.

Successful mentors have a number of characteristics that make them effective. First and foremost, they’re willing to share what they know and take the time to explain the principles behind their success. They should be prepared to put in the work of being a mentor, which will be an additional obligation atop their current responsibilities. Perhaps most importantly, they should have a reputation for honesty and empathy. This will make it easier for them to form trusting relationships with candidates hoping to learn from their experiences.

Read more at https://www.business2community.com/leadership/how-to-use-mentoring-in-succession-planning-02143772