Management News

Letting go is one of the most difficult and challenging aspects of leadership. Controlling and deciding what is to be done, when, how, and by whom—all of these become habit-forming and heady, and difficult to let go. It is particularly problematic in organisations where the CEO is also the dominant stakeholder, or belongs to the promoter family.
Even planned succession sometimes results in a damaging power struggle or at least a culture clash, particularly where the outgoing leader is the dominant stakeholder and he or she retains loyalists in the organisational set-up.
So, whether planned or not, succession is a tricky business. However, planned succession is always a preferred option, compared to panic succession. Organisations that have succession planning as a process are usually able to avoid significant destabilisation at the time of leadership change. Hence they are able to choose a more appropriate successor. However, most organisations still avoid making and articulating clear succession plans, at least for the CEO. The board sees the event as a one-off, and does not want to dilute the outgoing management’s authority by naming a successor.