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Leaders at All Levels

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Leaders at All Levels

Deepening Your Talent Pool to Solve the Succession Crisis


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

What are you doing to select and groom your next CEO? If nothing, shouldn’t you get busy?

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Everyone in the corporate world knows how important a CEO is. A CEO can make a weak company strong and a good company great. Conversely, a bad CEO can do harm that may take years to correct or even destroy a company. Although corporate board members know all this, few boards adequately develop future leaders or prepare for CEO succession. They ignore this vital task until dire need confronts them. Then, one day, the CEO quits, becomes ill, dies or must be removed. Board members are bereft and bewildered, wondering how to find a suitable replacement. Respected consultant Ram Charan offers an alternative scenario: the “Apprenticeship Model.” General Electric, Colgate-Palmolive and other well-known firms have found that this proactive development plan works for them. getAbstract recommends this stellar book on leadership training and CEO succession planning as a must read for anyone who is – or should be – involved in grooming, training or selecting future CEOs.


The “Apprenticeship Model”

Your CEO just quit or got fired, creating a leadership vacuum your company must fill quickly. Many companies are not prepared to deal with this situation, and do not invest adequately in leadership development and training. Is yours prepared to make this investment? If so, your board and executives can put the Apprenticeship Model of leadership development to work, even if combining CEO training and apprenticeship initially strikes them as incongruous.

When you think of apprenticeship, you probably picture someone learning to become a plumber or an electrician – not a CEO. But consider what “apprenticeship” actually means – learning by doing, with feedback and practice – and you’ll quickly see how such hands-on training makes sense for future CEOs. The Apprenticeship Model provides accelerated educational opportunities that are perfectly tailored to specific CEO positions. Existing leaders can use it to gauge if a CEO candidate has what it takes to plan and direct their organization’s operations in the future.

The Apprenticeship Model requires a strong talent pool of potential CEOs and capable executives who can teach them about leadership...

About the Author

Ram Charan is a consultant and speaker. He also wrote Know-How, Boards that Deliver and Execution. He teaches at the Harvard Business School where he earned his M.B.A. and doctorate.

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