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Transitions at the Top: What Organizations Must Do to Make Sure New Leaders Succeed by David L. Dotlich, Dan Ciampa

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7 The Senior Manager's Role

The most memorable of lessons about successful transitions often come from companies least prepared for a new leader. That was true of a major retail chain known for its growth. The company was started by an ambitious founder who had devoted 30 years of his life to make it one of the largest retail chains in its category. As committed to the business as to his family, he was either in his office or walking through stores (his own or competitors’) seven days a week. His hard work paid off as his company earned a reputation as a constant innovator, one benchmarked and emulated by other companies.

As the fortunes of the company grew, however, the founder's health took a downward turn. The first stroke was a minor one, ...

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