ABC Radio Melbourne: Bo Hanson on Succession Planning

Kate von Euw
Marketing Coordinator

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Athlete Assessments’ Founder and Performance Consultant, Bo Hanson, recently joined ABC Radio Melbourne presenter, Lisa Leong, to discuss the topic of succession planning. They covered what it is, why it’s important, the common mistakes made when implementing a strategy, and how effective succession planning is the ultimate measurement of a great leader.

Leadership matters. Which means impactful strategies such as succession planning are crucial for establishing both influential and proactive future leaders. Interestingly, the idea of succession planning often calls into debate the question: is a leader born or developed?

As Bo and Lisa both agreed in their live radio discussion, leaders are inherently developed. Bo elaborated that in addition to potential leaders contributing different skillsets and visions, it is ultimately up to the organization or team to continually implement processes that develop future leaders. Using the example of numerous football programs he works with in Australia, Bo highlighted the importance of having an emerging leadership group within high-performance teams that is regularly updated to provide opportunity for up and coming leaders.

Continuing the discussion, Lisa detailed a local example of a leader exercising multiple roles as a coach, board member, and sponsor, whose actions have successfully enhanced female participation within the football club. In response, Bo reflects on the example as a ‘model for modern sport’, whilst noting the potential challenges associated with playing multiple roles as a leader.

Rounding out their perspectives, Bo and Lisa outline the ‘Measures of a Leader’, noting the following insights that distinguish a leader: 

  1. They’ve built something that is going to succeed beyond them
  2. They view leadership as an obligation not a privilege
  3. They have a philsophy that is dictated by being a servant to the organization or team
Leadership Sport

Succession planning in sport emphasizes a commitment to long-term, intentional planning to meet talent and leadership needs. We’ve previously written an article on the 6 Steps for Succession Planning in Sport that explores key principles of future leader development in more depth. Moreover, we’ve identified the 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Succession Planning in a separate article, so you can minimize panic-driven efforts to fill vacancies as they occur, and instead maximize strategic leadership decision making. 

Women's Football Team

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Bo Hanson

Senior Consultant & Director

Bo Hanson’s career within the sport and the business sector spans over 25 years, delivering leadership, management, and coach development. In addition to his own athletic career comprising of four Olympic appearances and including three Olympic medals, Bo has worked for many years with coaches and athletes from over 40 different sports across the globe. Bo was also the winner of the Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) 2023 Award for L&D Professional of the Year, for his dedication to L&D and transformational work across various industries.

After a successful career in sport including four Olympics and three Olympic Medals, Bo co-founded and developed Athlete Assessments in 2007. Bo now focuses on working with clients to achieve their own success on and off ‘the field’, and has attained an unmatched track-record in doing exactly this.

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BoRowing-Atlanta Olympics

Now, watch us interrupt him for a round of quick fire questions.