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12 Traits to Look for in Your Successor

Updated: Sep 18, 2023



“If you have achieved any level of success, then pour it into someone else. Success is not success without a successor”

-T.D. Jakes.


You already know that you will not be in your position forever. I have personally, intentionally, and closely, groomed at least 50 global leaders, and directly mentored, coached, and sponsored hundreds more. There is no feeling on earth like pouring yourself into another that you know must climb heights, reach levels, and accomplish thing sin their time that may be far above your own vista. Then, watching them up close, or from afar as they do. I'm getting emotional just thinking about it. If you haven't already, the first step to grooming your successor is to know what to look for. Here are the 12 traits to look for in your successor:

1. Character They have character and esteem doing the right thing above anything and anyone else's interests, including their own. 2. Self-Awareness They are self-aware and willing to do the deep work of self-development to grow into the leader others need. 3. Purpose-Driven They have purpose, vision, and ambition. 4. Results-Driven They are focused, disciplined, driven to succeed, and generate solutions. 5. Tenacity They have a can-do attitude, are resilient, and are tenacious to find a way through. 6. Teachability They are curious, humble, teachable, and actively seek to learn and grow. 7. Mission-Focused They believe in and advance the mission. 8. Team Player They are a team player that brings out the best in others. 9. Critical Thinker They challenge the status quo, groupthink, and you, their leader, in a constructive, forward-moving manner that leads to solutions. 10. Highly Competent They are passionate and proficient in their profession. 11. Influence They have leadership presence and a positive influence that moves others to act. 12. Balance They endeavor to cultivate both their personal, and professional, private and public lives so that they can enjoy balance and wellbeing in their pursuits and relationships. If you know someone like this in your sphere of influence at work, or in life, draw close to them and offer to mentor them. You may have just identified your successor. If not, you would have left a legacy by preparing a leader that will positively impact the next generation after you leave. Curious to know, what other traits would you add to this list?


“The worst mistake a leader can make is to mentor no one, choose no successor, and leave no legacy”

-Dr. Myles Munroe.



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