There will be plenty of start-up entrepreneurs looking at the resignation of Steve Jobs as chief executive of Apple and thinking, “I’m glad I don’t need to worry about who is going to replace me”.
Which is fair enough – you are at the start of your entrepreneurial journey, while Steve Jobs is well down the track in his. From a personal point of view, you’ve got miles to go and probably have no intention of handing over the reins to anyone anytime soon.
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While that’s fair enough, except business leaders need to think beyond themselves. They need to think about investors, employees and customers. This might be YOUR business but you are not the only person involved.
If you were forced to step away from your company tomorrow, what would happen?
Could someone step in or step up as interim CEO?
Who would be authorised to take decisions that involve spending or taking in money?
Could the business continue to serve customers and pay its employees without you?
It’s for this reason that some very basic succession plan – or even the broadest outline of one – needs to be considered, even for emergency situations.
You don’t need to plan a grand handover, but you do need to have a feel for how you would cope with business interruption.
Get it done – today!