Chapter 16CEO Succession Planning

Marshall Goldsmith, Executive CoachLeadership Development andBehavioral Change

AS CEOS NEAR THE END OF THEIR CAREERS, THEY MUST NAVIGATE THE SUCCESSION process in a way that is beneficial for themselves, their successors, and their organizations. It can be difficult to navigate this course and to pass the baton of leadership, and not every CEO does it successfully. I am a behavioral change expert. I do not advise leaders in the strategic and technical issues of succession. My expertise is on the human or behavioral elements of transition. This is the focus of this chapter.

Let’s begin with an overview and then delve into the particulars of each topic. There are four basic steps of successful transitions:

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