On Leadership
Video | PostLeadership | FedCoach | | Books | About |
Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

Marshall Goldsmith
Executive Coach/Author

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith is an executive educator, speaker, coach and best-selling author. His most recent book is Mojo.

Get a New Life

While there is no absolute right or wrong answer to this question, I will share my personal preference. At the level of President or Vice President of any major organization, I would prefer to see former leaders refrain from criticizing their successors.

There was an election. Barack Obama won. Give the guy a chance! If I believed that the criticism of the successor was truly motivated by a desire to help the organization or country, it would be more tolerable. My guess that, in most cases (either in the public or private sector), when a former incumbent puts down a successor the main motivation is ego - not altruism. My views have nothing to do specifically with Barack Obama.

I wrote a book on CEO sucession called Succession: Are You Ready? and made the same point about former corporate leaders. Former leaders should "get a new life" and try to help the world be a better place. They should let go of trying to be the boss. They need to find new meaning for their lives. If they only play the same mediocre golf, with the same old men, while eating the same chicken salad sandwiches, at the same table, in the same country club, and discuss the same gall bladder surgeries, they can get a little cranky - and start meddling with their successors!

By Marshall Goldsmith

 |  May 11, 2009; 1:02 PM ET
Category:  Followership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Every Right to Criticism | Next: Hardly Helpful

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company