Career Maps face up to your future and Succession Maps face across and down, looking for who will replace you when you move on. This process should start the minute you are promoted into a job. An intentional process for identifying your successor is a project, and requires documenting the steps clearly. Here's a sample:
- Identify the 1-3 people who have the most potential to replace you when you are promoted.
- Create a Job Benchmark and run Gap Reports (see Gap Report sample above) to verify that your choices are minimally biased.
- Work with each person individually to create a plan to apply for your job. Remember, it is their job with your guidance to create their Career Map (above). Do not promise the job and be very careful not to set up the people to compete against each other which could create a disruptive culture in the team. If possible, provide everyone in your team feedback and explain your criteria for the choices you've made so no one is whispering and conniving in the background instead of working.
- Revisit the Job Benchmark every year in case the scope of the team responsibilities has changed.