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Succession: Are You Ready Hardcover

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Succession: Are You Ready + Effective Succession Planning: Ensuring Leadership Continuity and Building Talent from Within + Succession Planning Basics (ASTD Training Basics Series)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (February 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422118231
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422118238
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A 'handbook' in every sense, the latest offering from leadership authority Marshall Goldsmith is a compact field guide to letting go, gearing up, and passing the baton" --T+D Magazine

About the Author

Marshall Goldsmith has coached scores of top executives at the world's leading corporations. He has been ranked among the top ten executive educators by the Wall Street Journal and one of five most respected executive coaches by Forbes. The author of many books, including the bestselling What Got You Here Won't Get You There (Hyperion, January 2007), he is on the faculty of executive education programs at several of the world's leading business schools.

More About the Author

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith was recently recognized as the #1 leadership thinker in the world at the bi-annual Thinkers50 ceremony sponsored by the Harvard Business Review.

Marshall Goldsmith is the million-selling author or editor of 34 books, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, MOJO and What Got You Here Won't Get You There - a WSJ #1 business book and winner of the Harold Longman Award for Business Book of the Year. His books have been translated into 28 languages and become bestsellers in ten countries.

Marshall's professional acknowledgments include: Institute for Management Studies - Lifetime Achievement Award (one of only two ever awarded), American Management Association - 50 great thinkers and leaders who have influenced the field of management over the past 80 years, BusinessWeek - 50 great leaders in America, Wall Street Journal - top ten executive educators, Forbes - five most-respected executive coaches, Leadership Excellence - top ten thinkers on leadership, Economic Times (India) - top CEO coaches of America, Economist (UK) - most credible executive advisors in the new era of business, National Academy of Human Resources - Fellow of the Academy (America's top HR award), World HRD Congress - 2011 global leader in HR thinking, 2011 - Tata Award (India) for Global HR Excellence, Fast Company - America's preeminent executive coach and Leader to Leader Institute - 2010 Leader of the Future Award. His work has been recognized by almost every professional organization in his field.

Dr. Goldsmith's Ph.D. is from UCLA's Anderson School of Management where (in 2012) he was recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. He teaches executive education at Dartmouth's Tuck School and frequently speaks at leading business schools. He is one of a select few executive advisors who have been asked to work with over 150 major CEOs and their management teams. He served on the Board of the Peter Drucker Foundation for ten years. He has been a volunteer teacher for US Army Generals, Navy Admirals, Girl Scout executives, International and American Red Cross leaders - where he was a National Volunteer of the Year.

Marshall's other books include: Succession: Are You Ready? - a WSJ bestseller, The Leader of the Future - a BusinessWeek bestseller. The AMA Handbook of Leadership, The Organization of the Future 2 and The Leadership Investment - all three are American Library Association - Choice award winners for academic business books of the year. Over three hundred of his articles, interviews, columns and videos are available online at for viewing and sharing. Visitors to this site have come from 197 countries and have viewed, read, listened to, downloaded or shared resources over 8 million times.

To reach Marshall:

P.O. Box 9710 * 16770 Via de los Rosales * Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067-9710 *

Phone: (858) 759-0950
Fax: (858) 759-0550

Customer Reviews

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Marshall Goldsmith's "Succession: Are You Ready?" is a great book.
Perhaps there are other books on the subject, I can't imagine one as easy to read and apply as this one.
Shannon Lastowski
I highly recommend this book for anyone who would like to prepare someone to take their place.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pele Ugboajah on February 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is very clear that this book is less about the dry, logical, technical, or strategic issues of CEO succession and more about how to navigate the behavioral and emotional realities involved in successfully changing the guard at the top job. His central question for the CEO or top leader in any organization is: Are YOU ready?

To help you answer that question, he focuses like a laser on what may easily be the most challenging aspect of the process: the HUMAN side of leadership succession. While readily admitting that there are several books that can deal with the other technical issues, he forges ahead with powerful metaphors and stories that reveal the extreme importance of correctly handling the BEHAVIORAL challenges in leadership succession. How do you get yourself emotionally ready for moving on? How do you identify the right leaders to pass the baton to? How do you coach those leaders, and provide them with the best and most empowering tools for changing behavior? Ultimately, how do you "pass the baton?"

All these questions and more are handled in a way that reveals the unique insight Dr. Goldsmith possesses regarding the leadership challenges at the very top ... this time, not from the point of view of trying to BECOME the leader, but from the point of view of trying to replace yourself if YOU are the current, successful leader.

I love the analogy of Spock (the logical vulcan), which he uses to represent what this book is NOT about. (Dry, logical, statistical analysis). Perhaps even more, I love the analogy of PASSING THE BATON, which paints a truly powerful picture of what Succession is all about.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Manley VINE VOICE on January 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Marshall Goldsmith writes on a stage of a career that is in transition from a CEO to life afterwards, and how to best move through this transition. This transition is someone handing off the baton as he so elegantly puts it to another leader for a company. He delves in how someone much manage the transition so that the best strategical decisions are made for the company's future, and how to best groom your successor. He does not stop there, he continues onward with how this transition will personally impact a person's life.

I thought that Goldsmith did a wonderful job in breaking down how to best serve the company that someone was working for along with helping one to plan and move onward with their life. As any CEO may transition out of the job they had so loved, they are unlikely to sit back and smell the roses when they are done being a leader for a particular organization. Topics that are included deal with how someone's ego may take a hit when they are no longer the leader of a large organization, how to let go and move on, how to groom someone else to be a success.

Why should you read this book? I think people that are leading large organization of any time may benefit from reading this book as they may be in a transition. You may want to go back to work for that same organization, this book will give one many ideas on how to best manage this transition. This book gives advice on a person's family life, as well as life in the boardroom. Clear explanations, clear and well thought out analogies, make this book a thought provoking read that flows easily.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jody VINE VOICE on November 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Preparing for a successor can be a difficult step in an executive career, Succession: Are You Ready? (Memo to the CEO) addresses many thought provoking concepts when preparing your replacement.

Although the book provides a good concise summary of concepts and emotions you may experience while preparing for succession, if you are looking for a detailed plan this is not the right book for you.

Goldsmith does do an excellent job in providing a direction for those executives that are entertaining the idea of succession and may even be discussing it with a board. Primarily focused on large corporate environments and fortune 500 companies, the advise may still be good for entrepreneurs and other business people that may be emotionally attached to their jobs.

A good book for a quick flight.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Judy Smith VINE VOICE on August 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The author tells CEO's how to retire with grace and dignity in this book (versus going out kicking and screaming, I guess). He gives a lot of suggestions on how they can do it and leave someone in charge that the CEO has trained himself. This will reflect on you if you do it. It's to your benefit to leave a good impression as well as leaving someone in charge that has been well trained. It shows what a good sport you are as well as how professional you are (and if you have stock in the company, it is an even better idea!)

When a CEO retires they have a hard time rejoining the human race and will find it impossible to just sit around and watch tv or play golf. The author suggests possible alternatives like getting in a group of other ceo's and discussing what else is possible. He tells of how some get other jobs, some donate their time running non-profit organizations, etc. They just have to find something they really like and head in that direction.

He gives a lot of good ideas and I thought the book would be good for anyone that retires from a high powered job and not just ceo's. The author writes with a sense of humor so it's certainly not dull.
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