What does riding alone have to do with training your replacement? When I was a sales manager for one of the top twenty home remodelers in America, I ran appointments six days per week two or three leads on weekdays and one or two on Saturday. I was in the position for several years. I never went to an appointment alone. I always had a sales representative with me. It was not only part of my training system it was the most important cog in the wheel. I never rode alone. I was training my future replacement. Are you training your replacement?

Don’t Ride Alone: Training Your Replacement

Get to Know Your Teammates

I used my time riding with sales representatives to get to know them better. I learned to ask about their passions, desires, and what they wanted out of the job. You may not have alone time riding in a car to an appointment, but you can take the same approach. Invest time finding out what motivates your teammates. It’s one of the first steps to training your replacement.

Ride with New People

I would ride with new sales representatives and show them the live action version of what I’d been training in the classroom. You’re probably not on a sales call with a new employee, but you can do the same thing. Take what they’ve been trained and show them how it’s done. It doesn’t have to be you, it can be, but it can also be any competent teammate who follows procedure.

Don’t Forget Your Experienced People  

Sometimes I would take an experienced teammate with me on an appointment, and then sit back and watch. I always found at least one action I could compliment, and one area we could improve. Do the same thing with your team, sit back and watch what they do; I’ll guarantee you’ll find something to compliment and an opportunity for improvement.

Train the Next Person Up

I’d take assistant managers and leadership development trainees with me. During our time together I’d ask their advice and opinions about our team. I’d involve them in the planning process and mentor them on leadership best practices. You can do the same, whether it’s lunch, on the way to a seminar, or planned one-on-one time.

Make Your Job Easier

Besides, never riding alone on sales calls I’d bring teammates with me on projects. At one time I supervised the installation department at the remodeling company. I had people shadow me when we implemented a new vendor check-in system, sit with me during employee interviews, and assist me on installation inspections. Eventually, I turned all of those activities over to others. I’d trained them how to do it. I didn’t ride alone.

Training Your Replacement

If you want to progress you have to have someone who can fill your shoes. The next time you think about managing a project alone stop and ask yourself is this a training opportunity and if so who should ride with me?

How Can I help You?

I’d love to meet you and your team virtually or in person. I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a  management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.

Photo by Mira Kireeva on Unsplash