The Importance of Succession Planning and Talent Management


English: Logo of Best Buy, US-based retail chain

English: Logo of Best Buy, US-based retail chain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


When considering the characteristics of an excellent leader, what are the key elements? Is it the ability to develop a clear and inspiring vision? Is it the ability to make a decision even without perfect information? Is it the ability to recognize sources of sustainable competitive advantage? And then, drive execution accordingly? Is it the ability to make tough choices? Does the leader rightfully stand on the moral high ground?

If you answered all of the above and believe that’s not nearly an all-inclusive list, you’d probably be right. However, I firmly believe that, at least as important as what’s on the above (or your) list, is the leader’s diligence in ensuring that he/she can be readily replaced. In other words, having a successor/succession plan.

How many times have we seen this happen recently? The guy at Yahoo gets axed for falsifying his academic records. The guy at Best Buy gets kicked out for misconduct and misuse of his office. The guy at HP is let go because he was a bad fit to begin with and made too many bad choices.


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