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The Scary Journey Of Selecting New Leaders

Every single business in the world will have at least three to four changing of the guards in each century. Out with the old and in with the new. Leaders have to be changed and replaced. Bringing in the next generation of managers, C-suite and other senior positions, is a daunting and even scary task. What’s at stake? Your company culture is by far the most important thing that is in the crosshairs. You need to maintain a solid culture that transcends time and generational gaps. It’s what makes your business unique and special in the industry. You will also need to bring in leaders that have the type of temperament you need to make tough decisions that ultimately allow your business to thrive and in some cases, survive.

Young incumbents and mentors

Every new leader that is brought into their position, must be given a mentor. This is a lot easier said than done as you may not be able to keep around the previous leader, long enough to show them the ropes. That’s why it’s beneficial to have a transitional phase, whereby the incumbent leader is taken under the wing of the outgoing leader. The outgoing leader will have overall authority but more and more of it will be passed to the incumbent.

The mentor will stick close to the young new leader, whether it’s a manager or a senior in a department. Make sure the incumbent is asking as many questions as possible so that small issues are nipped in the bud before problems arise. It’s general practice to keep it this way for about 12 months, but in some cases and depending on the role, it can be 18-24 months.

On shaky ground

Many young leaders will feel like they’re on shaky ground. It’s a good idea to provide them with seminars and content about leadership, so their knowledge of different techniques and mental toughness can expand. Providing them with a Keynote Speaker regarding leadership motivation is highly recommended. This type of speaker lives and breathes, supporting new leaders to become comfortable in the role and thrive on the additional responsibilities and pressure. Some of your leaders will be plagued with self-doubt and they will allow themselves to feel overwhelmed despite being great at their jobs. Don’t allow a spark to fade when you have the opportunity to fan the spark into a flame. Some of the best leaders in the world, started off not believing in themselves and weren’t able to handle the pressures at first.

Making tough recalls

As the boss, you have to make the toughest decisions. Sometimes it will involve demoting an incumbent leader because it’s either not the right role for them or, it’s too soon. Even if an employee passed all the managerial training, they might not perform well in the actual role. Give them time to get used to it, but if several months down the line you still see them making mistakes, you need to recall them from that role.

It’s quite a tense time when you are training, selecting and evaluating new leaders. But every business must go through this changing of the guard, so make sure you do it right.

The Transformative CEO

The Transformative CEO: Impact Lessons from Industry Game Changes

by Jeffrey J. Fox and Robert Reiss

About the Reference

The Transformative CEO by Jeffrey J. Fox and Robert Reiss identifies a number of common personal qualities and approaches taken by celebrity CEOs in building or turning around their companies. Jeffrey and Robert then breakdown these items into supporting subparts and provides a series of quotes from notable CEOs in support of each subpart.

Specific topics covered by The Transformative CEO include:

  • Turning around a company
  • Building superior customer service
  • Thinking big and going global
  • Performing while transforming
  • Having a higher purpose
  • Innovating and making everything better

Why You Should Not Buy This Book

StrategyDriven Contributors found The Transformative CEO to be shallow and largely uninsightful. While the book does provide some overarching characteristics and approaches of successful chief executives, we found many of these items to be common sense truisms, philosophies most junior managers and graduate level business students would stipulate. That renown CEOs agree with these premises serves to give them credibility but does little to suggest how the reader should implement the recommended approaches.

The book suggests actions to improve the management decision-making process. Surprisingly, these actions – the most valuable and explicit points made in the book – are largely unsupported by CEO comments.

Alternative Recommendation

StrategyDriven Contributors believe there are certain qualities, characteristics, and approaches common among successful CEOs. Furthermore, we believe CEOs set the tone and tenor of the organization over which they preside and so embodying these traits is important.

We recommend The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker as a superior resource for learning about the admirable qualities of an executive. Through his book, Dr. Drucker provides readers with the specific actionable steps necessary to become more effective as leaders through improved decision-making and action.

Click here to read our review of The Effective Executive.