Succession Planning


By Marsha Koelmel

Co-President of Catapult

If we could give one piece of advice to business leaders, it would be to prioritize Succession Planning for all key roles. Strategic talent development is essential for business continuity and success.

A comprehensive Succession Plan helps to identify and develop top performers capable of taking on advanced leadership roles. Before a C-Suite vacancy occurs due to retirement or resignation, savvy businesses ensure they have a plan in place to fill those key leadership positions. Succession planning helps your business be prepared and continue to move forward should there be a change to your essential leadership team.


  1. START PLANNING IMMEDIATELY. Even if there is little reason to expect an impending change in leadership, it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place.
  2. IDENTIFY YOUR HIGH POTENTIAL PERFORMERS. Don’t assume you’ll be able to fill a key leadership role in today’s talent marketplace. Instead, grow your leaders from within your organization. Carefully evaluate your top talent and identify the leaders with the greatest potential. Psychometric assessments can aid in this step of the process.
  3. DEVELOP YOUR LEADERS. Leaders need to be cultivated. Implement a Leadership Development program for your top talent so they will be better prepared to meet future challenges and opportunities. The Executive Coaches who will work closely with your leaders will be able to gain an understanding of their potential for further growth and their level of investment in the future of your business to enable you to further determine the exact right leaders best suited for advancement.
  4. ALIGN VISION AND GOALS. Sustainable success only happens when your leadership, strategy, and culture are fully aligned and integrated. Collaborate with your Board and HR team and begin strategy conversations with potential successors to ensuring all parties are aligned on your organization’s vision and objectives.
  5. COMMUNICATE. Let potential successors know they are being considered for future advancement. This can be an excellent way to retain your strongest performers, who tend to be the type of employees who need to know where their career is headed. Provide regular feedback about their strengths and areas of improvement, track their accomplishments, give detailed performance reviews, and communicate with them where they stand.
  6. TRIAL RUN. Give potential successors an opportunity to take on more responsibility. Allow them to take on an advanced leadership role during an executive’s vacation to give them a chance to gain more experience. A trial run has the benefit of enabling you an opportunity to evaluate their leadership abilities.

Need assistance creating a Succession Plan for your business? Catapult can help. We can work with you to create a comprehensive plan to ensure the continuity and success of your business. We can help develop your high potential leaders so that you have successors ready to step in when a C-Suite role becomes available. Contact us today for more information at

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