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Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

What Any Leader Can Learn from Common Executive Succession Planning Mistakes

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Ever wonder how smart people make bad decisions? That can happen in lots of situations including conversations around the board of directors table about who the next CEO is going to be.

In a recent conversation with Scott Saslow of the Institute of Executive Development, I got an inside look at some of the common mistakes boards of directors make on executive succession planning. In partnership with the Rock Center of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Scott’s organization has released a new study on best (and worst) succession planning practices. (You can get a copy of the study here.)

In talking with Scott, it struck me that some of the big succession planning mistakes that board members make show up in lots of other leadership situations at any level of an organization. Here are my top three takeaways on that front:

  • Being overly optimistic about the challenges you’re facing and thinking that external trends don’t apply to your situation.
  • Looking in the rearview mirror instead of the windshield when making big decisions.
  • Not having clear accountability and ownership for big decisions.

Any of that sound familiar? If so, you’ll want to listen to this brief conversation between Scott Saslow and me to get more insight about how to avoid these kinds of mistakes on the big leadership decisions that you have to make.

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(Image via Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com)

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

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