When the public face of an organization or a well-known leader leaves, it might seem like an unrecoverable loss. What if they take the wind out of the sails with them when they go? How will the organization continue to function?
Organizations that do not want to suffer the loss of a well-known leader in the first place would do well to rely less on charismatic individuals. By all means, a leader with a good-public image, or with chutzpah, is a fantastic resource. But, it might be best to invest most in the organization itself. It – not its figureheads – should be the most dynamic in practices, policy, and people.
Organizations can also develop contingency plans to help deal with the fallout when a highly popular leader leaves. It’s a good idea to have disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place to deal with such situations. Succession planning is critical, and a major aspect of this should be to have protégées and potential replacements already in place. Having many employees capable and ready to step up to the plate is an efficient strategy in case of a crisis. It will also come in handy should the “rock star” frontman suffer a crippling case of the sniffles.
Public relations after the publicly recognized figure leaves are also extremely important concerns. Consider how public perception will change: is this the time to rebrand and reinvent? Why not take the opportunity to use a loss as a gain?
Have you ever had a charismatic leader leave your workplace? How did it effect change, for the better of for the worse? Let us know in the comments!
If you’re interested in leadership today, join us on April 4th at the Ottawa Convention Centre for the first annual Canadian Government Executive Leadership Summit. All of our panelists are charismatic leaders eager to share, network, and teach.