Are You Ready to be Next in Line?

Are You Ready to be Next in Line?

Business Dictionary defines succession planning as: Identification and development of potential successors for key positions in an organization, through a systematic evaluation process and training.

That definition implies that someone identifies those in line for leadership and puts them on a leadership path. Nice to be chosen, but the question then becomes: Are there ways to put yourself on that path? We will get to what I think the answer is to that in a moment.

In the meantime, did you know that almost 4 million Baby Boomers are retiring each year? Staggering thought. According to a study by Saba and, 30% of HR executives in the study report that they are struggling to fill leadership roles. Additionally, 59% of those polled say that succession planning is much harder in today’s economy.

So, back to the question – can you put yourself in a succession path?

My answer is a resounding yes.

How, you ask? Raise your hand and say you want it. Be bold. Demonstrate a willingness to lead by stepping up. Perhaps, most importantly, acquire the knowledge you need to be in role.

At ACCP: The Conference this year you heard at least a couple of senior leaders in the field speak to the need to be bold and to take charge of your own career. You also heard a continuation of a meme we’ve been hearing for a few years: you must be able to link your giving strategy back to the business.

If you decide to take that step and make it known you want to be in your company’s leadership plan, the next thing you need to do is make sure you have the knowledge you need.  I would suggest you check out the Corporate Responsibility Executive Institute. CREI is a partnership between ACCP and the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business.

To my knowledge, and I am pretty confident you will call me out if I’m wrong, you cannot get the kind of education offered through CREI anywhere else.

CREI is designed to give you a broad understanding of all facets of the business and how the work you do impacts across other functional areas. There are three separate programs offered through CREI: Advanced Business Acumen; Strategic Business Leadership; and Managing the Matrix. Each one offers skills to enhance your value to the organization. When taken together, you have an opportunity to enhance your own brand by applying for the Certified Corporate Responsibility Executive (CCRE) designation.

This is your career. The power to drive it where you want to go is in your hands. ACCP is here to support you on your journey.

Mark Shamley
President & CEO