A Guide to Federation Succession Planning

A National Federation succession plan is just as important for athletes and coaching staff as it is for administrators. Once a national coaching director is identified; a coach performance review should be executed independent from a national federation to ensure responses are not influenced by the executives.

Succession Plan Steps

  • Assess organization’s ability to execute a succession plan
  • Identify key positions currently and in the future
  • Identify competencies and build job profiles
  • Identify and assess potential candidates
  • Develop learning and development plans that have tracked current employee progression
  • Develop individual Development Plans for each candidate based on their current ranking
  • Maintain a skills inventory looking at gaps that need filling or future requirements
  • Implementation and evaluation

For some organizations with a history of cultural practices, these steps may need to be followed by an outside organization.

Replacement Planning

Replacement planning is start for organizations which concentrates on immediate needs and not longterm requirements. This type of planning for a job, grant or scholarship position that may change; has a number of potential problems.  

What is succession planning and who needs it most?

Decision makers should have disaster plans in place in the event that key individuals die or depart unexpectedly, just the same as preparing for those to advance years ahead of their actual promotions. Short and long-term needs and an analysis of each result from this type of planning. Talent inventory is built around an approach that supports a leadership tunnel. In organizations free from monopoly an independent organization may have to take on this role to ensure those in the pipeline are not replications of the previous administrators. The search can be a challenging one; equalling potential with performance can be risky because not all high-potential individuals show their ability to perform at this level. An organization’s ability to see these people evolve would be a result of  placing them into roles. People are prepared for present and future work responsibilities so that high potentials are always preparing for promotion; this is a great way to optimize the value of individuals now and in the future.

Efficient succession planning plays on the equilibrium of talent identification, selection of talented employees to replace key managers who will leave the company due to personal preference, retirement, reassignment, termination or being voted out. A successfully completed plan displays a balance between implementing a business strategy for financial independence and achieving needed Federation goals. 

What is an automatic promotion system?

This system is designed around placing individuals in position based on the chain of command or progressive title advancement, not necessarily progressive work responsibility and assignment.

Federations who answer YES to one of the following suggests that they have not adequately established or communicated its plans for the future of its people; for replacing key roles and for developing high potentials for advancement.

  • Do executives complain that no one is ready when nominations open up?
  • Does the federation compromise an international standard strategy because they don’t have the talent or finances to support it?
  • Are possible successors for key positions fleeing because they see no room for advancement in upper level positions?

Federations will have trouble retaining their talent and it will build insecurities with the perception that nobody can fill vacancies. When a federation lacks the culture of growing their own talent or talent by locals; they are forced to have to look for outsiders.

What can become a major issue

Federations who do not have a well defined succession plan who rely on internal network candidates may have a reverse effect. Decision makers can allow both social and emotional relationships with individuals to guide their choices. This is present in many organizations with executives who have been in positions for long periods of time. Outside candidates should always be an option.

Commonalities with unprepared organizations

  • Federations do not know who is next in line to fill Presidential, Secretarial and Treasury positions.
  • The actionable process to replace executives is flawed through inefficient association development and administration recognition system.
  • A number of organizations plan for succession to reduce risk and not to find the best success.
  • Federation roles are not defined and often not followed
  • Planning is not connected with coaching and internal talent identification programs.

Identifying Former Athletes as Successors

  • Look for athletes who are good communicators, look beyond their existing technical skills
  • Determine and eliminate if they follow the same culture of those they would be succeeding
  • Determine the preferred skills for the succession position
  • Locate and consider possible successor by considering the obvious ones first
  • Assess the relationship between those considered with the current executives to determine if they would be subject to influence and overlap
  • Involve key people in the club, school systems
  • Involve them in a continuous development system and assess their activity on a consistent basis


CPR HR Consulting, “Succession Planning.” preparing for your agency’s future, 28 July 2019, https://www.cpshr.us/services/resources/org-strat/succession-planning/SuccessionPlanning_Whitepaper.pdf

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, “Succession Planning and Managing Guide.” Newfoundlandlabrador, 28 July 2019, https://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/hrs/publications/succession_planning_and_management_guide.pdf

Henman Linda, “What is Succession Planning and Who Needs it?.” 28 July 2019, https://www.henmanperformancegroup.com/articles/what-is-succession-planning.pdf

Parker F. David, Saslow Scott “2014 Report on Senior Executive Succession Planning and Talent Development.” https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/sites/gsb/files/publication-pdf/cgri-survey-2014-senior-executive-succession.pdf

Wisil to Compete in USA Southwest

Pacific Sprint Queen Toea Wisil will travel to the United States this week competing for the first time since December 2020. With the Olympic qualification period ending June 29th and her international competition campaign extending to mid-June, Wisil remains positive and is optimistic about her chances of qualifying for the Tokyo Games. Qualification is achievable by reaching the standard performance or by event in the IAAF World Ranking system. The final list of qualified athletes will be released by World Athletics on July 1st.

Multinational athletes, some of USA Track and Field and the college system’s best will set the scene for tough competition in states like Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas and Florida. Toea will be based in New Mexico with her Coach Dior Lowry under good weather conditions, the altitude is a bit lower than Goroka at 1,100 meters and she will have some advantages training on a synthetic track.

Before departing, Wisil will receive safety recommendations from PNG medical staff while Lowry will reinforce and provide additional; based on his experience in the medical profession.

Coincidently, the Junior College Track and Field National Championships will take place in Texas; and the senior athlete would like to provide some words of encouragement to the PNG athletes at Cloud and Southwestern community colleges during her stay.