Avoid These 5 Mistakes That Sabotage a Leadership Succession

  • Relying on formulas: Search committees or recruiters may rely too heavily on formulas or “off-the-shelf” decision-making tools. There is no equation or software program that can reliably identify the right person. You need to know who your organization wants and needs. That’s specific to your organization. If you need help with that, here is a free template that will help.
  • Thinking about the person instead of the position: Many searches start and end with someone who was top of mind or conveniently nearby. The role is then adapted to fit what that person can do or is willing to do. This often doesn’t work. It’s better to define what you are looking for and then find the person who fits that description.
  • Not recognizing or resisting bias: Leaders and search committees tend to select someone who is “like me” or “like us”. This often leads to organizations not having enough diversity of thought or experience.
  • Communicate who will be involved in the decision-making process
  • Describe the key elements of the process
  • Define timelines, include what is known and what isn’t
  • Reiterate organizational priorities and how succession will serve them
  • Whenever appropriate and possible, include stakeholder input into the process
  • Provide updates along the way



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Christian Muntean

Christian Muntean

I help successful leaders and teams dramatically improve their performance. Guaranteed.