Leadership Lesson

Chapter 4 – Meet Your Predecessor (Part 1)

FIRST 30 DAYS Fright or Flight– 10X Leader Series
FIRST 30 DAYS Fright or Flight– 10X Leader Series

Chapter 4 – Meet Your Predecessor (Part 1)

What should be covered in my meeting with my predecessor?

The very first step is to meet with your predecessor. For every manager, this step is critical to providing continuity in how employees are managed.

Below is a checklist you can use to ensure you cover the critical aspects of your new role. If you do not have a predecessor, cover these topics with your manager.

1 – Status of Work/Projects:

When you take on a new role, your idea is to hit the ground running. This means you need to quickly take stock of the current projects and work on the pipeline to understand the critical milestones and essential items to focus on. This should be one of your first conversation starters with your predecessor.

  • Assigned roles and responsibilities
  • Key objectives
  • Previous commitments
  • Critical personnel issues
  • High-priority business issues
  • Action items in the first 30 days

2 – Personnel Folder/ Folios:

Good managers typically keep a ” folio ” for each employee. It carries information that varies, depending on your organization’s requirements and a manager’s discretion. Review all such information to determine what should be kept.

You may not find all this information in a structured fashion in some cases and new start-ups. There may not be an existing process that will give you all this. However, it would be a good idea and precedent for you to set by initiating some of these good processes into the new business unit or organization.

This folio would, at the minimum address:

  1. a current profile dockets
  2. current and two previous KPIs and Individual Development Plans (IDP)
  3. payroll, vacation, and attendance records (depending on the organisation and country requirements).

It may also contain:

  • Documentation related to the condition of employment
  • Performance improvement programs (PIP) if any
  • Medical condition alerts [note: medical information is confidential]
  • Performance appraisal
  • Recognition and award information
  • Letters/notes from customers, colleagues, or other managers

3 – Other Planning Documentation Should Include Current Year:

Apart from the above documents mentioned earlier, there may be other planning documentation in physical or digital format. Do not underestimate the ‘plans in mind’ or ‘between the ears’ of your predecessor. You would need to get a dump off the thought process, the written and unwritten plans.

  • salary plans
  • award plans
  • promotion plans
  • certification plans (if applicable)
  • vacation plans
  • Compensation Administration Manual (if required at your location)
  • remote or temporary assignments

4 – Staffing and Hiring:

A clear understanding of staffing and hiring is key to building your star team. The current team may be understaffed, overstaffed, or right staff. Since your success is primarily dependent on your team, this becomes a crucial conversation.

  • Review any open positions in your department
  • Discuss internal candidates under consideration and any transfers who are joining your department
  • Discuss external candidates under consideration and any new hires who are entering the department
  • Understand who your predecessor has been working with on external hiring

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