Succession Planning for Long-term Success

What would happen to your business if you had to retire tomorrow?

Many small businesses are dependent on the owner, so if you want to be able to retire and/or position your company to be able to sell – you’ll need strategic forethought and action built into the structure of your organization. Having a strategy for developing people who can move up when key employees leave is critical to the long term success of a business.

The trouble is, many businesses owners only start thinking about this when they are nearing the transition. Building on-going succession planning into the structure of a business will not only position the business for success when transition approaches, but it will allow the business to grow and attract top talent in the meantime. It will also allow the company to be strategic if the goal is to sell.

When a business has leaders-in-training, the dependence on the owner is minimized so that when the time comes, the business owner can confidently step back and reap the rewards of the business.

Marielle Gauthier, a professional executive and personal coach, has been studying the challenges businesses and organizations are facing in leadership transition as retiring leaders move out, and the next generation of leaders move in.

“Using what I have learned through these assessments, I have developed an approach to support organizations through the transition process so the risks and impacts are reduced and performance and productivity are increased,” said Gauthier. “This means business goals are met while profits increase and costs decrease.”

Gauthier’s clients experience an increase in confidence, better communication, better relationships and have seen a measurable ROI thanks to her coaching.

“As an executive coach, a business communication specialist, facilitator and trainer, I assess the needs of the leader and the organization,”said Gauthier. “My phased-in approach consists of  an assessment process, coaching the leader through a results-based succession strategy, and implementing an action plan.”

Gauthier’s tailor-made approach can also include facilitation, training, peer support and consulting. Through alliances with other executive coaches, organizational development specialists, human resource specialists, business advisors, accountants, lawyers, and business valuators, Gauthier is able to scale any challenges that arise in the succession planning process.

“As the old adage goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” said Gauthier.

Planning for succession in a business is just as critical as all of the other planning that goes into creating and maintaining a thriving business. Owners must take responsibility for laying the bricks of succession strategy into the structure of the organization as the business is growing and being built.

To seek out support for building succession planning into your business, and to learn more about Marielle Gauthier, visit or send her an email at

Support your retiring employees

Do you have employees nearing retirement?

Fears related to change and feelings of uncertainty about the future can make the anticipation of retirement stressful.

As a strategic advisor specializing in life-transitions, with a focus on retirement, I work with individuals to create a purpose-driven retirement lifestyle plan. My clients see positive transformation in their lives as a result of the work.

By supporting your workforce to psychologically prepare for their retirement, your employees will be happier and more engaged. They will be able to offer a higher level of commitment and productivity when they have a game plan for their next stage, and have put their uncertainties to rest.

If you have individuals who would benefit from emotionally and psychologically preparing for their transition to retirement, please send me a message. I do executive, team, personal and group coaching.

How to Cope with Identity Crisis in Retirement

If your career has become something that you identify with very strongly, then you may face the very real challenge of identity-crisis in retirement.

You may have built up, over the years, a position of power and respect in your vocation or place of work – perhaps you even received public attention for your achievements. If so, moving into retirement may feel like a big letting go of something that defines you. These are big feelings that are valid and important to talk about.

Here are two points of action to get you started in preparing for that transition.

  • Reflect upon your journey – where you started, compared to where you are now. Perhaps you want to write out the story, or tell it to a loved one. Be proud of your journey and notice how it transformed you.
  • Moving forward – consider which aspects of your life’s-work you would like to carry with you into the next phase of your journey, and which aspects you feel content to leave behind. Brainstorm outlets for the aspects you want to carry with you into the next phase. Perhaps you want to organize events in your local community, or volunteer for a non-profit organization, do aid-work abroad, or coach young people in your field of expertise.

For in-depth support of this nature, join my online program at