Mollie Bell

Succession planning: Move beyond the C-Suite

‘Know your superpowers and help others find theirs,’ says CUNA’s Mollie Bell.

September 14, 2018

Organizations typically have succession plans for C-Suite positions—“and then it falls off a cliff,” says Mollie Bell, CUNA’s chief engagement officer.

“We’re in the tightest job market in our lifetimes,” Bell tells the the co-located CUNA Technology Council and CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council Conferences in San Francisco. “We need a succession plan for every position.”

Here’s how to proceed:

►Plan it, map it. Help staff identify their strengths, aspirations, and where they want to be in five years.

“That might be where they are now,” Bell says. “But map it out. This will let people know where they stand.”

►Use tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test or the Big 5 Personality Test to identify employees’ traits and skills.

“Make these part of your culture,” Bell says. “That’s a huge gift for your team. You have to understand your people’s superpowers and maximize them.

“This starts with you as a leader,” she adds. “Know your superpowers and then help others find theirs.”

►Develop yourself so you can develop others. “Ultimately, talent wins,” Bell says. “We need people working in our organizations who are passionate and engaged every day.”

Stretch and reward your team. Allow staff to perform to their strengths.

“Help them take calculated risks, and reward them for it,” Bell says. “Part of our job is to understand where peoples’ gifts are, and navigate them to the right role.”

►Be honest. Let people know when their best path might lead out of the organization.

“We need to help others care about their own careers,” Bell says.

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