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CRISIS: Navigating Transitions of Leadership in Times of Crisis

As a business owner, it is natural to feel a sense of responsibility and ownership over your company. However, life events such as illness, injury, loss of a loved one, trauma, or other unforeseen circumstances can sometimes require taking extended leave from work. While it may be difficult to relinquish control, it is important to have a plan in place for delegating tasks and transitioning power to ensure that your business can continue to run smoothly during your absence. Here are some tips on how to effectively delegate and handle transitions of power as a business owner facing a life event that requires extended leave from work.

  1. Identify key tasks and responsibilities
    The first step in delegating tasks and transitioning power is to identify which tasks and responsibilities are essential to the smooth functioning of your business. This could include financial management, client relations, employee management, and decision-making. Once you have identified these key tasks, consider which team members or colleagues are capable and willing to take on these responsibilities in your absence.
  2. Communicate with your team
    Effective communication is crucial when delegating tasks and transitioning power. Make sure to clearly communicate your plans and expectations to your team, and provide any necessary training or support to ensure that they are prepared to take on their new responsibilities. It is also important to set clear boundaries and make it clear that you are not available for work-related matters during your leave.
  3. Create a plan for decision-making
    While you may not be able to make all the decisions during your absence, it is important to have a plan in place for how decisions will be made in your absence. This could include assigning a designated decision-maker, establishing a process for consulting with you (if necessary), or creating a decision-making committee.
  4. Keep in touch (when appropriate)
    Depending on the nature of your leave and your own comfort level, you may want to keep in touch with your team and business during your absence. This could be through regular check-ins or updates, or simply being available for consultation if necessary. Just make sure to set clear boundaries and respect the fact that you are not available for work-related matters during your leave.
  5. Set a clear timeline for your return
    It is important to have a clear timeline for your return to work, as this will help your team and colleagues know when to expect you back and how to plan for your return. This timeline should also be flexible, as it is important to prioritize your own health and well-being above work responsibilities.

In conclusion, delegating tasks and transitioning power during a life event that requires extended leave from work can be challenging, but it is necessary to ensure that your business can continue to run smoothly in your absence. By identifying key tasks and responsibilities, communicating with your team, creating a plan for decision-making, keeping in touch when appropriate, and setting a clear timeline for your return, you can effectively delegate and handle transitions of power as a business owner facing a life event that requires extended leave from work.

Felix A. Woelber Felix is an Alaskan born author, academic researcher, multi-media artist, and former educator. They enjoy writing about socio-economics, public policy, and creating education resources.
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