Who is your heir?

While doing a career we can be so focussed on our own success that we hardly think of the next generation. But this one-way-street thinking incorporates the risk of missing valuable support along your career journey. This support comes two-fold: first of all, you need people who fill in your position once you move on to your next step. And secondly, a hungry next generation pushes you to progress as it generates a healthy competition that ensures that you don’t become lazy (which you don’t want to become anyway).

Ideally, this next generation is part of your network and wants to see you bloom as you want to see them thrive. In that context, the challenging demands of the younger colleagues are beneficial for you. But if you forget to invest in the next generation and don’t build a trusting relationship, they will be chasing you and trying to hunt you down in order to get your position.

In that context, it totally makes sense to build up people who inherite your positions on a regular basis. Maybe you have to pave the way, but in that way you can also model the culture in which you would like to work. Even if the next generation might get a bonus in terms of stepping into a prepared setup, it is beneficial for your own career, too.

This behaviour needs longterm thinking. Start seeing your career in decades and imagine how beautiful your network can turn out in 5, 10, 15 years if you start investing in people today. Even think of your interns of today – they will be leaders in 10 years time. Ideally, they still like you by then. And who knows … eventually you become the heir of their progress.

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