8 Things To Do After a Leadership Departure

The departure of a key leader from an organization can feel like navigating a ship through uncharted waters. In these moments of transition, the steps taken by the remaining leadership and members can significantly influence the organization’s trajectory. Below, leaders from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share their invaluable insights on this very question:

“Leadership changes can have a big impact on smaller teams. What’s one thing the business owner can do to help smooth the transition for everyone involved when a major leader leaves their team?”

1. Foster Open Communication

“Embracing a mentality of “if nothing changes, nothing changes,” a business owner can smooth a leadership transition by fostering open communication and collaboration to ensure confidence. Involving the team in shaping the future direction, empowering them with new responsibilities, and providing support can turn the change into a growth opportunity, ensuring the team’s resilience and adaptation.” ~ James Behmke, Behmke Innovation Group LLC

2. Appoint Someone Internally

“An instant response in this situation would be to find another replacement. However, I recommend appointing someone internally rather than looking for the right fit outside. This would ease the transition because the potential candidate is already familiar with the company’s culture. Plus, it’d boost the morale of the team, as they’d see their efforts acknowledged and a growth path for them.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

3. Identify a Liaison

“It takes time for a team to get used to a new person in leadership. It’s a new personality with new priorities. As a business owner, I would advise that the transition can be smooth out by appointing a team member as a liaison to the new leadership person for a while. They are the ones to bring up issues from the team that everyone is afraid to bring up or that some may bring up too assertively. ” ~ Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

4. Embrace New Ideas

“Embracing organizational change is critical if you want to continue growing and innovating. Turnover brings fresh eyes, new ideas, and a whole new outlook on the business. Employees may have been attached to the old leader and their way of doing things, but reminding everyone that your organization is a stepping stone rather than the “end all be all” is an excellent way to frame transitions. ” ~ Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

5. Focus on Knowledge Transfer

“A business owner must focus on efficient knowledge transfer when a leader leaves the company. Start by identifying the most important information you and your team should know. Document everything using tools like Google Docs, Notion, or Loom where you can record yourself and your screen. With simple efforts like these, you can create a learning culture that helps now and in the future. ” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

6. Be Transparent

“To smooth the transition during leadership changes in smaller teams, a business owner can ensure transparent communication about the change, its reasons, and how it will affect the team. This approach helps manage expectations, alleviate concerns, and maintain trust, making the group feel included and secure during the transition.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

7. Provide Context

“To facilitate a smooth transition for everyone involved when a major leader leaves their team, ensure clear and consistent communication throughout the transition process. Along with the announcement of the leader’s departure, the business owner should provide context about the reasons for the change and reassure employees about the company’s plans moving forward. This removes uncertainty.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

8. Schedule a Team Meeting

“If you want smooth transition for everyone involved when a major leader leaves their team make sure that you schedule a team meeting as soon as possible to announce the departure of the leader. During the meeting, reassure team members that the business owner is aware of the impact this change may have and is committed to supporting them through the transition.” ~ Andrew Munro, AffiliateWP

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