Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Succession: Are You Ready?" Tackles Toughest Management Challenge

Bestselling Author Marshall Goldsmith Examines Problems of Executive Transition

WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With CEO tenure on a rapid decline, many CEOs will soon be faced with the challenge of handing the baton over to a successor. But it's not only CEOs that go through tough transitions. Any leader, as they move up, around, or out of the organization, will eventually be planning a transition and preparing their successor for the job. How should an incumbent prepare to let go? When is the right time to start identifying potential successors and what is the best way to groom them? How should stakeholders be managed during a leadership transition?

In “Succession: Are You Ready?” bestselling author Marshall Goldsmith offers candid analysis and advice on the problem of succession from the outgoing executive's perspective. Goldsmith, ranked among the top 10 executive educators by the Wall Street Journal, has coached over 80 major CEOs through a leadership transition. Based on his experience, Goldsmith addresses the following succession issues:

• Why leadership transition is the greatest challenge for any leader;
• Why thinking about succession as early as possible will ensure an effective transition;
• How to identify and mentor potential successors and build a solid pipeline;
• How to avoid internal political disasters when more than one candidate is being considered;
• How to understand the personal dynamics of developing a successor and how to overcome the predictable biases and blind spots;
• How to know when it is time to step down;
• How to work with the board and other stakeholders, and what to expect from them during the succession;
• How to let go and hand over responsibility with class and grace.

From choosing and grooming a successor while sidestepping political minefields, to finally handing over responsibility, “Succession: Are You Ready?” walks leaders through each step in the succession process.

About the Author

Marshall Goldsmith is a world authority in helping successful leaders achieve positive, lasting change in behavior – for themselves, their people, and their teams. Goldsmith is the New York Times bestselling author or coeditor of 24 books, including “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” which won the Harold Longman Award for Best Business Book of 2007. His major professional acknowledgements include: BusinessWeek’s most influential practitioner in the history of leadership development; The Economist’s most credible advisers in the new era of business; The Wall Street Journal’s top 10 executive educators; Forbes’ five most-respected executive coaches; Fast Company’s preeminent executive coach in America; The Times’ 50 most influential living business thinkers; and the American Management Association’s 50 great thinkers who have most impacted the field of management over the past 80 years.

Goldsmith is the cofounder of Marshall Goldsmith Partners. In 2006, Alliant International University named its schools of business and organizational psychology the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management. He is one of the few executive advisers who have been asked to work with over 100 major CEOs and their management teams.

His weekly columns appear on and Almost all of his articles, videos and audio are available online at

“Succession: Are You Ready?” by Marshall Goldsmith; Harvard Business Press; February 10, 2009; Hardcover: $18.00/HC; 110 pages; ISBN: 978-1-4221-1823-8