Sports fans love a “Legendary Performance” story.

Think of the Montreal Canadians’ Hall-of-Fame goaltender Patrick Roy carrying his entire team to a Stanley Cup championship in 1993. Realistically, Montreal’s roster was mediocre that year and had no business reaching the finals much less taking home the Cup. Earning 10 of his 16 playoff wins in sudden-death overtime that spring, Roy simply refused to yield.

But while those moments make for great sports documentaries full of slow-mo replays and melodramatic voiceover, the reality is that the Canadians team was not built for long-term success. They rode a superstar for as long as they could, and when he moved on, the team struggled as a result of not preparing with any kind of succession planning strategy.

In recent times, successful teams know they have to consider some type of business succession planning by continue feeding the system with young talent so that when their superstars fade or move on, the team is positioned for continued success.

The Los Angeles Kings, winners of two Stanley Cups in the past three years, have relied heavily on veterans like Jeff Carter, Marian Gaborik, and Justin Williams to log big minutes and generate timely scoring. Yet their defense, led by 25-year-old Drew Doughty, and 22-year-old Tyler Toffoli, is developing into a key scorer in his own right. Those two young players happen to be Kings draft picks, as was defenseman Alec Martinez, the player who scored the Cup-winning overtime goal against the New York Rangers last spring.

The L.A. Kings (the team that lost to Patrick Roy and his Montreal Canadians in the 1993 final, incidentally) have had an up-and-down season, but over time they have shown that attention to succession planning pays off. With the playoffs about to begin, don’t be surprised if the Kings manage to sneak in and, well, surprise everyone.

You may also be surprised by how many businesses neglect succession planning. Perhaps they depend on a couple of veteran salespeople to crank out numbers, or their visionary CEO sees the business landscape the way Wayne Gretzky sees an ice rink. But eventually those salespeople burn out, and one day the CEO may decide she’d rather spend her time steering her yacht around the Mediterranean than steering business succession planning.

The World of Work may not have a formal system of “drafting” employees, but our recruiters are a lot like talent scouts, and valid personality assessments can come in handy for identifying high-potential candidates and crafting a careful succession plan strategy. Caliper’s clients are using not just the Profile but also taking advantage of our new Caliper Analytics™ platform and working with our Consultants and Advisors to spot those future stars already on staff.

Business succession planning is a critical aspect of future success. As sports teams understand, tight-knit teams, streamlined processes, perfection through practice — it all falls apart when your keystone leaves. The same goes for business. Without succession planning, teams lose leadership, direction, and the struggle to replace can cause friction and disrupt the flow of work. But by leveraging personality assessment data, talent success metrics, and observing those with a propensity of self-management, you can plan for a seamless, frictionless transition of leadership — whether you see the departure of a leader coming ahead of time or not.

Many successful athletes will say you are only as good as your last game. Last year’s championship was amazing, but it was last year. If you want to build a dynasty in sports or in business, you have to think about today and tomorrow. You must have a plan for success(ion).

To learn more about the ways Caliper can help guide your business succession planning process, get in touch with our experts today.