I was recently looking for tickets to a musical and the website noted that the understudy for the lead would be performing on selected dates. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an understudy for yourself?

Think of how nice it would be if the work would continue, as close to how you would have done it as possible, and yet you would have the day off to do as you please. You could have a backup in place to step in and fill your role if you were sick or otherwise “hit by the bus.” There would be a person who knew all the intricacies of the work you do, without having to burden someone else with that information.

Most of us don’t have the luxury of an understudy. As wonderful as it would be, we must prepare for times when we are unavailable and have contingency plans so the work goes on around us. 

Think of what you would most want your understudy to know and leave resources in that manner. How you do your record-keeping and documentation is like leaving the next person a script. Don’t have missing pages for your de facto understudy.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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