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The Successor Paradox

I tend to ask CIOs a lot of questions. One of my favorites: If you were to win the lottery and leave the working world forever, do you have a successor who can step into your shoes tomorrow?

I typically get one of three answers. Of the CIOs I ask, 50 percent tell me, “I am grooming two people, but they still have some development ahead of them. They need to think more strategically and be better at executive level relationships.” Another 30 percent say, “I have someone who could take over my job tomorrow.” And the remaining 20 percent shuffle their feet and sheepishly answer, “Not by a long shot.” (In fact, the vast majority of the VP searches my firm conducts for CIOs have “CIO successor qualities” as one of the criteria.) ...

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