All Articles Leadership Do you have a "right-hand man/woman" on your team?

Do you have a “right-hand man/woman” on your team?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 170,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Do you have a “right-hand man/woman” on your team?

  • Yes. They’re my “A” player and go-to person: 50.65%
  • Kind of. I rely on them for many things, but they’re not quite my right hand: 33.87%
  • No. I don’t have one key player/confidant on my team: 15.48%

Succession planning begins with your right hand person: Clearly, many of you rely on that one person who makes things happen and can be trusted with any task you throw his or her way (sort of like Chewbacca for Han Solo). That right hand should be the first place you turn as you think about succession planning. (You’re not going to be in your role forever, right?) If you have a person who’s not quite your right hand yet, groom that person to be. It will take work off your plate, give the person growth opportunities and set him or her up to take the reins when you depart.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”