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Managing Leadership Transition for Nonprofits: Passing the Torch to Sustain Organizational Excellence by Laura Watkins, Susan Egmont, Barry Dym

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2. Why Transitions Fail

If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know when you have lost your way.

Wanted: Strategic Process for Leadership Transition

Leadership transition is a defining moment in an organization’s life, a time to review what the organization is about—its mission, vision, objectives, strategies, and culture, as well as its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—and address these core themes in the selection of a new leader. Simply stated, the lack of a strategic process is usually the core reason for failure in leadership transitions.

A careful and deliberate process is all too rare. Transitions are too often crisis-oriented attempts to replace the departing CEO as quickly possible, even if the choice isn’t ...

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