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Archive: Succession planning

Apple's elephant in the room

I don't think Apple should be forced to reveal its succession plan--as long it has one in place--it could still choose to be more forthcoming on the status of one of its most critical assets.

By Jena McGregor | February 24, 2011; 10:35 AM ET | Comments (5)

Little excuse for the thin U.S. leadership bench in Afghanistan

No student of any kind of history--military, political or otherwise--would have expected the conflict in Afghanistan to be over quickly, which means a leadership pipeline should have been an obvious need and top priority.

By Jena McGregor | February 15, 2011; 09:45 AM ET | Comments (11)

The weight of Panetta's words

Panetta was right about one thing in his committee testimony. Even the best intelligence can't get you inside another leader's mind. "Our biggest problem is always: How do we get into the head of somebody?" he told members of Congress. Likewise, we won't know what it was in Panetta's head--excitement that a change could be coming, cold hard intelligence that turned out to be wrong or mere reiteration of media reports, as his aides say--that prompted him to make a statement that instantly set up expectations around the world.

By Jena McGregor | February 11, 2011; 10:10 AM ET | Comments (35)

Behind the curtain: Besides Jobs, Apple's other leaders

Taken together, the top brass at Apple is likely to keep the company humming during Jobs' absence and manage the company quite well, at least in the short term. Over the long haul, however, many Apple observers question whether any of these leaders has the same capacity to inspire the sort of game-changing technology and design feats for which Jobs is so well known.

By Jena McGregor | January 18, 2011; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (5)

Florida Gators' coach Urban Meyer calls it quits--right?

I highly doubt Florida will have been Meyer's last coaching gig, or that it'll take him long to find his next one. But the pressure cooker that is any top leadership job is indeed stressful enough for one to want some time off to spend with the people they love but never see.

By Jena McGregor | December 9, 2010; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (32)

Last-minute Congressional logjam: Few pros, plenty of cons

Whatever the outcome of the bill, and it's not likely to be pretty with that mishmash of agendas, the even more troubling downside is what it says about how our leaders view rules and deadlines in the face of political gain. Putting off tough decisions may help you look better in the short term, but it's hardly leadership. Making the details and intricacies of a trillion dollar budget a top priority that doesn't get pushed to the last-minute, however, is.

By Jena McGregor | December 8, 2010; 01:16 PM ET | Comments (23)

The tax cut deal: Procrastination, not leadership

Both Democrats and Republicans can say there wasn't time for such deliberations with a deadline looming, but both have also known this was coming for years. Then again, carefully planning for the future, as well as tackling the toughest problems first so your successors aren't left with them, takes leadership. And that's been in woefully short supply during the tax cut debate.

By Jena McGregor | December 7, 2010; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (40)

Barry Diller's atypical exit

But by saying "this company needs" those qualities in its CEO, readers could easily infer that he thinks the company doesn't have them now. Also odd is the comment that "it's been clear" to him "for some time" that the company is in need of this kind of leader. Unintended or not, the comment will read to some as if Diller hasn't been giving 110 percent, and as if he's known that to be the case for a while.

By Jena McGregor | December 2, 2010; 12:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

What Warren got right

What Warren got right isn't necessarily the pick. It's the approach. For one, he's actually naming someone before he gets too old or too infirm to carry out the job. That may seem obvious, but so many companies don't get the simplest of all succession rules down. All too often, succession planning is something that happens after lightning strikes--be it performance woes, an embarrassing boardroom scandal or an unexpected illness or death.

By Jena McGregor | October 26, 2010; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (3)

Clinton-Biden switcheroo? Not a bad idea

Why not? Rotating executives between top jobs happens all the time in business, and is seen as good management and corporate governance. It's a natural way for leaders to challenge themselves, develop their skills and stretch different management muscles for a few years.

By Jena McGregor | October 6, 2010; 09:49 AM ET | Comments (31)

Apotheker? The HP head scratcher

Maybe it's a strategic stroke of genius, but I still think the decision is a head scratcher. Apotheker didn't have a great record at SAP, albeit during a rough time for the company. The more hierarchical German corporate culture is worlds away from an organization like HP, which helped give birth to Silicon Valley's dynamic innovative spirit.

By Jena McGregor | October 1, 2010; 02:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Why a CEO shouldn't run the NEC

The temptation to send a signal when filling such an important leadership role is a risky one. One sees it all the time: rather than simply picking the best person for a job, leaders make political decisions on who will ruffle the fewest feathers or send the right message to their employees, their investors or their constituents.

By Jena McGregor | September 22, 2010; 11:09 AM ET | Comments (2)

HP and its CEO woes

After years of management intrigue from outside leaders, whether the overreaching by Carly Fiorina or the expense account imbroglio of recently departed Mark Hurd, the grandfather of Silicon Valley desperately needs one of its own in charge. Not only does the company need to show that it can still produce good leaders; it needs some continuity in its culture, strategy and leadership after too much turmoil at the top.

By Jena McGregor | September 20, 2010; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (1)

Nokia's leadership overhaul

today, the company's chairman, Jorma Olilla, announced he would resign in 2012. Talk about a leadership overhaul. While Vanjoki's resignation may not have been part of a master plan, the company is clearly seeking new leadership to help rejuvenate the ailing giant.

By Jena McGregor | September 14, 2010; 11:51 AM ET | Comments (1)

If succession planning was the NBA draft

If only succession planning worked like the NBA draft. Federal managers, corporate executives and nonprofit leaders could fill their open spots by picking from a pool of the most talented candidates in the country.

By Jena McGregor | July 15, 2010; 04:24 AM ET | Comments (4)

 
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