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Masterpieces are only lucky attempts.George Sand

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The CEO Within

The CEO Within

How can companies better manager leadership succession?

Author(s): Joseph L. Bower

Publisher: Harvard Business School Press

Date of publication: 2007

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The question of leadership succession is not taken seriously enough by companies, observes the author of this book. However, external recruiting is not the solution. Although CEOs recruited from outside the organization may be the best choice in certain cases, particularly when a company wants to make a clean break with the past, they are more often less successful than those promoted from within.
The ideal CEO candidate, asserts Joseph L. Bower, is an ""inside-outsider,” i.e. a leader with detailed knowledge of the organization, its products and services, its strategic strengths, its context, as well as its social networks, culture and people. But this “insider” must also be able to put this knowledge in perspective and observe the organization with an objective eye, as if he or she came from outside the company. The ability to combine this detailed internal knowledge with an objective perspective is critical for successful leadership.
Illustrated with numerous examples of success and failures, this book analyzes what makes leaders great and offers many suggestions on detecting and developing profiles that can be adapted to the specific context of each organization.