A phenomenal visionary and innovator, Steve Jobs also demonstrated a lot of skill as a leader. One case in point is the thoughtful way he handled succession planning, an area many CEOs avoid, to their company’s disadvantage.
Information Week writer Robert Strohmeyer reported earlier this year that author Carmine Gallo, who followed Jobs’ career closely over the years and wrote two well-received books about him, identified the five key lessons to be learned Jobs’ succession planning:
- Focus on the customer, client, and user experience, above everything else
- Ensure that the culture of the company is held up as a higher value than a particular person’s leadership so that everyone realizes the company can succeed without certain individuals
- Control the core message and exemplify it (walk your talk)
- Be proactive about turning over the reins gradually so that people become accustomed to the new CEO before it’s time to leave
- Select your successor by evaluating the person’s ability to do the job rather than assessing whether the personality is similar to yours
What do you think is most important to remember when preparing to step down from a leadership role? Please offer your thoughts, ideally based on your experience.
Thousands of executives, top-flight sales leaders and savvy marketers have learned—with Evelyn Clark’s help—how to identify, create and deliver messages that stick in audiences’ minds. An author, workshop/retreat leader and keynoter, she is a recognized expert and pioneer in organizational storytelling. Learn about her Corporate Storytelling® system and services, or buy her book, at www.corpstory.com.