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Archive: Succession

Know when to let your members off the hook

She has become the issue, rather than keeping front and center the issues she says she cares about--such as restoring the Democratic majority and keeping the White House in 2012. Her seeking re-election to the post is another example of her putting herself above her party and, once again, doing what no legislative party leader should ever do: forcing her members to make a bad vote that is likely to haunt them two years from now. It is as if she has learned nothing at all from...

By Marty Linsky | November 11, 2010; 05:26 PM ET | Comments (4)

Why Pelosi didn't fail

Women and men need to see an example of a woman politician who has had to face a loss but refuses to back down. Too often, women leaders become discouraged after an initial loss, or are encouraged by others to step down following a failure. What would happen if instead of backing down, we came back with even more fire in our...

By Marie Wilson | November 10, 2010; 01:48 PM ET | Comments (7)

Pelosi deserves plaudits

I resist the temptation to jump on the Megabus that is driving the trash talk against Nancy Pelosi. The campaign of vilification orchestrated by Republicans with millions of dollars in often anonymous campaign funds was masterful, but Dems should not be swayed by their opponents' propaganda. Pelosi...

By Kathryn Kolbert | November 10, 2010; 01:43 PM ET | Comments (5)

Things fall apart

How can Congress make the best use of the next two years? To answer that question it is important to note that the interests of the Democratic Party should not supersede the interests of our nation. Rather, our next minority leader must further bipartisan decision-making. As such, there is no need to look at whether Speaker Pelosi is the best person for the...

By Coro Fellows | November 9, 2010; 04:10 PM ET | Comments (3)

Dems need new blood

If the Democrats' congressional leadership is unchanged after the party has taken such a hit, it might well create the additional problem of discouraging frank and open conversation about the necessary changes that the Democrats must consider. They just can't stick to the same old recipe...

By Yash Gupta | November 9, 2010; 02:58 PM ET | Comments (3)

'A wish for leaders'

There are some key questions that should be considered by both, even though Senator Reid has retained his formal position and Speaker Pelosi's fate is now dependent on the votes of her peers. In the final analysis, both will have to be authorized by those they want to influence. Can they present and represent their positions...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | November 9, 2010; 02:49 PM ET | Comments (0)

It's a problem of peer judgment

From an "electoral" perspective, Pelosi's performance could, of course, hardly have been worse: Democrats suffered a historic loss of more than 60 seats and Pelosi herself became the poster child for alleged Democratic "wrong track" ideas. But from a "legislative" perspective, Pelosi's performance was also historic in...

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | November 9, 2010; 02:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

How Pelosi is like KU's Coach Gill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a situation many authority figures face when they are linked to poor results. But Pelosi can take heart, she has a kindred spirit here in the Heartland. University of Kansas head football coach, Turner Gill, isn't a politician, but his job is political. As does Pelosi, Gill makes his living in a full-contact activity. Each also faces a growing chorus of detractors wanting...

By Ed O'Malley | November 9, 2010; 07:53 AM ET | Comments (1)

Good leaders never give up? Nonsense

Forget the myth nurtured on the football field that leaders never give up. Nonsense. True leaders are smart enough to know when to stop bashing their heads against opposition stronger than themselves. Even smarter ones, and may I add more courageous ones, know that the bravest thing to do is to give up...

By John Baldoni | November 8, 2010; 06:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

There is no dilemma

Thoughtful leaders should and do resign after losses far more modest than Nancy Pelosi's of last week. But Republicans, of course, are delighted at her candidacy, delighted at the prospect of her symbolizing Congressional Democrats for two more years. And House Democrats are in disarray, most of them privately wanting to see her back but afraid to say. At least for the moment...

By Slade Gorton | November 8, 2010; 05:56 PM ET | Comments (1)

Evan Bayh: When should a leader step down?

Evan Bayh has made his choice: What is yours? Here are three ways to find out whether it's time to move on.

By John Baldoni | February 17, 2010; 06:15 AM ET | Comments (2)

Military Solutions

The process for ensuring senior military leaders do not stagnate is provided for by law. Once a four-star general is relieved from the position, the officer must be reappointed to a position at the same grade, revert to a lower grade, or retire within 60 days.

By Col. Charles D. Allen | May 29, 2009; 02:59 PM ET | Comments (1)

All About Quality

In the end, the question of succession all depends on the quality of leadership the CEO exercises. It is that which matters, not the duration of his or her stay.

By Pablo Eisenberg | May 28, 2009; 12:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Wrenching Decision

When to leave poses one of the most wrenching decisions a Chief Executive must make. Here are three questions to light the way.

By Gen. Monty Meigs (Ret.) | May 28, 2009; 11:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

Lessons for Boards

Boards need to do a better job of making sure CEOs understand from their first days on the job that they will be expected to develop solid succession plans across the enterprise.

By John R. Ryan | May 27, 2009; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

Successful Grooming

The succession process Xerox used in the the transition from Anne Mulcahy to Ursula Burns is a model of how succession should be done.

By Bill George | May 27, 2009; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

When "Short-Termism" Makes Sense

Boards should start off new administrations with the express understanding that the CEO's term is limited, and exceptions should be rare.

By Slade Gorton | May 27, 2009; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Fresh Political Blood

Anne Mulcahy's departure raises the question of how long political leaders should stay in office -- even when they're still effective.

By Gen. John Batiste (Ret.) | May 27, 2009; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (1)

Don't Count Years

Length of time is not the issue; appropriateness for the position and the capacity to change and grow are the crucial factors in deciding when a leader should leave.

By Howard Gardner | May 26, 2009; 04:36 PM ET | Comments (0)

Transition Is Not Failure

Transition is not equivalent to failure and the needs of the organization trump the desires of the individual.

By George Reed | May 26, 2009; 04:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Changing Times, Changing Leaders

Board members must always bear in mind why they hired a particular CEO. If the objectives have changed, if the reasons for hiring the CEO no longer apply, then it's probably time for a new chief executive.

By Yash Gupta | May 26, 2009; 04:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

Firing the Leader

When a leader stays too long, it's usually the fault of the oversight committee--people who are too timid or too intimidated to do what they probably know is right.

By Alan M. Webber | May 26, 2009; 02:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Never Too Short

It is rare to hear people say that a leader's tenure was too short. Too often the discussion of succession is seen as disloyal or conspiratorial.

By Andy Stern | May 26, 2009; 02:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Last At-Bat

When we work with top teams, we often ask about succession plans. Instead, what we frequently find, instead, are non-succession plans. People who stay too long no longer bring their A game.

By Marty Linsky | May 26, 2009; 10:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Leader for One Season

Different types of leaders are needed at different stages of an organization's life cycle, and, in the final analysis, boards of directors have the primary responsibility to find the right fit.

By David Walker | May 26, 2009; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Psychic Investment

Non-profits face this challenge all the time, especially with founders who have more of a psychic than a financial investment, and whose organizations often lack a deep bench due to financial constraints.

By Bill Shore | May 26, 2009; 10:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

CEO Term Limits

Performance tends to deteriorate over time, and excising bad leadership becomes more difficult the longer and more deeply it's entrenched.

By Barbara Kellerman | May 26, 2009; 10:38 AM ET | Comments (0)

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