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It's Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz

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Known Devils

Imagine your company is deciding between two finalist candidates for a senior position. One is an insider who’s been with the firm for years. The other is an outsider. Knowing nothing more than that, who would you consider to be the safest option? Would your opinion change if I told you the company was highly profitable? What if I told you its recent performance had been subpar?

Years ago, Rakesh Khurana and Nitin Nohria of Harvard Business School conducted a landmark study on the impact that different types of CEO succession had on operating returns in two hundred organizations over a fifteen-year period.1 They considered four scenarios: (1) an insider promoted in a firm doing well; (2) an insider promoted in a firm doing poorly; ...

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