Chief executives always find themselves in a difficult situation when thinking of their own successors. This is understandable since successful CEOs do extremely well in terms of business performance or task orientation. Most also have a strong people orientation, which means they usually listen to and inspire their team members.
In reality, though, we cannot expect to find a replacement for a capable executive by considering only his or her business performance. We need to look into their personalities to learn more about their true selves to predict who will be the right people for the top job.
One of my clients, a listed manufacturer, is currently facing a succession issue. The current CEO, who has held the position for many years, recently raised this concern with me. Earlier I had conducted a leadership study and assessment for the company of 20 top executives including the CEO himself. These 20 people form a unique profile that contributed to their success over the years, as I will explain.
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