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Inside CEO Succession: The Essential Guide to Leadership Transition

Book Description

A comprehensive guide to planning for CEO succession, from the experts at RHR

As the demands from stakeholders for consummate leadership and good governance from a company's board of directors, its CEO, and its executive team increase, how the process of CEO succession is carried out has become more critical than ever before. Yet, over the past several years, a growing number of CEOs have failed early in their terms, often with devastating consequences to their companies and stockholders. By far the most common problem is a lack of ownership of the CEO succession process. Inside CEO Succession provides businesses, leaders, and boards with the strategies they need to execute their responsibilities with a heightened level of professionalism and ensure the sustained success of the companies they serve.

Written by Dr. Thomas J. Saporito, CEO of RHR International, and Dr. Paul Winum, Senior Partner of RHR International, the lessons of Inside CEO Succession are rooted in RHR's long-standing history of bringing expert knowledge, experience, advice, and counsel to the issues related to CEO succession. The culmination of RHR's 65 years of experience providing expert counsel to the boards of directors of hundreds of companies, it explains how ego, role-relationships, power, and human dynamics associated with relinquishing leadership, preparing successors, and ceding power and authority to other people create undetected problems in the succession process and ultimately cause many CEOs to fail early in their tenures.

  • Distills RHR's 65 years of experience helping businesses deal with CEO succession into one practical resource

  • Presents strategies to enable boards to understand their role in succession planning and how to source leadership that best fits their organization's culture and requirements

  • Brings together business acumen and psychological insight to help readers better prepare for more effective CEO succession

To be successful, CEO succession requires a well-defined course of action that ensures that a number of highly capable candidates are ready to assume the chief executive position whether through an unexpected event or a planned transition. Inside CEO Succession is designed to help boards comprehensively manage that process and effectively sustain their company's profitability.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Praise for Inside CEO Succession
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Foreword
  7. Introduction
  8. Part I: Why CEO Succession Is More Critical than Ever
    1. Chapter 1: From Checkers to 3-D Chess
      1. A Simple, More Predictable World
      2. Capture the King
      3. Decline in Confidence at the Top
      4. 3-D Chess: More Levels of Play—Less Certainty of Outcome
      5. Far More Than the Transitioning of the Top Leader
    2. Chapter 2: Success or Failure—The Cause and Cost
      1. A Reoccurring Pattern
      2. Focusing on the Symptoms
      3. Pinpointing the Cause and Cost
      4. The Benefits of Success
      5. The Cost of Failure
      6. What Lies Beneath the Surface
    3. Chapter 3: Whose Job Is It, Anyway?
      1. Best Practice Versus Real Practice
      2. A Force Behind the Inertia
      3. Ineffective in Their Most Critical Role
      4. Changing Times, Changing Minds
      5. Directors Share the Factors that Contribute to Success
      6. Embracing the Third Rail
    4. Chapter 4: RHR's Essential Point of View
      1. Assumptions that Guide Our Perspective
      2. Our 10 Key Dimensions
      3. Learning from History
  9. Part II: The 10 Key Dimensions of Effective Succession
    1. Chapter 5: Establish Board Ownership, Involvement, and Oversight
      1. A Deeper Current of Understanding
      2. Living with the Choice
      3. Restraint of Power
      4. It Goes Beyond Charter
      5. An Integrated Leadership Development Plan
      6. Continuous Development and Appraisal
      7. A Partnership Built on Trust
      8. Skillful Navigation
      9. The Role of the Lead Director
      10. One of the More Sensitive Issues
      11. The Art of Preemptive Communication
      12. A Lesson from Apple
      13. Oversight of Management and of Self
    2. Chapter 6: Set Succession Time Frames
      1. The Consideration of Timing as a Best Practice
      2. Creating the Leader Profile
      3. Sequencing the Succession Process
      4. Working Back
      5. Being Prepared
      6. Need-Based Versus Time-Based
      7. Balancing Timing and Stakeholder Interests
      8. Discussing Timelines with the CEO
      9. Concurrent Succession Decisions
    3. Chapter 7: Prepare for Emergencies
      1. Calm or Crisis?
      2. At Its Most Vulnerable
      3. Compounding the Emergency
      4. Aligned on Purpose
      5. A Name Is Not a Plan
      6. Working through the Emergency
      7. Minimizing the Causes
    4. Chapter 8: Align on Strategy and Profile
      1. In the Absence of Strategy
      2. From Complacence to Consensus
      3. Continuously Aligned with Management
      4. The Critical Role of the Lead Director—Facilitating Consensus
      5. Aligned on the Leader Profile
      6. Getting from Here to There— The Culture Imperative
    5. Chapter 9: Build the Talent Pipeline
      1. It's More than Talent
      2. What Constitutes Success
      3. Moments of Truth
      4. Making the Difficult Decisions
      5. Creating Teachable Moments
      6. Cultures of Development
    6. Chapter 10: Source External Talent and Manage Search Firms
      1. The Outsider Advantage
      2. The Role of the Search Firm
    7. Chapter 11: Select the CEO
      1. Preparing for the Most Important Decision
      2. The Winning Formula
      3. The Interview Protocol
      4. Unearthing the Best References
      5. Once the Selection Is Made
    8. Chapter 12: Proactively Manage the Transition
      1. Stage 1: Transitioning the Organization
      2. Stage 2: Integrating the New CEO
    9. Chapter 13: Measure Performance and Improve Process
      1. Measuring the Performance of the New CEO
      2. Taking Stock in the Critical First Year
      3. Improving the Succession Planning Process
    10. Chapter 14: Manage the Dynamics in CEO Succession
      1. The Upward Spiral of Succession
  10. Epilogue: Perspectives on the Future
    1. Five Perspectives on the Future of CEO Succession Planning
  11. Appendix: Ten Questions a Director Should Ask
  12. About RHR International
  13. References
  14. Index