O P I N I O N
Don’t advise, act!
Mentors do not fight for candidates’ advancement opportunities. That is the job of champions.
I f 2020 taught us nothing else, leadership matters. We also learned about the power of action. Regardless of your political persuasion, the single-minded focus and drive of the winners of the Georgia Senatorial race gave us a striking example of what it means to fight for a cause that holds deep meaning for you.
The same principle applies to leadership succession in companies. With the continued departures of baby boomers from the workforce, leadership succession stands at a critical juncture. While there’s little doubt senior executives care deeply about their companies, they struggle with passing the baton. Many reasons explain why succession plans don’t happen. Even when a company creates a plan, the difficult conversations and actions needed to make them work proves to be a challenge. The result is inertia. To surmount the inertia, somebody needs to shoulder the cause of fighting to put in place the firm’s future leaders before they give up or leave. THE IMPORTANCE OF CHAMPIONS. Leadership succession programs involve formal training, stretch goals,
and front-line assignments. However, these tools fall short without an overlay of strong guiding hands. Many companies use mentorship to fill the role. Mentors step in at auspicious times to give invaluable advice and support. Then they step back to let mentees execute. In short, mentors advise and mentees act. Mentors do not fight for candidates’ advancement opportunities. That is the job of champions. Champions provide action. They are company insiders who come equipped with organizational power that they are prepared to exercise on behalf of a leadership candidate.
See JULIE BENEZET, page 4
THE ZWEIG LETTER MARCH 22, 2021, ISSUE 1384
Made with FlippingBook Annual report