the ceo magazine, succession planning
Dr Don Steele, Coauthor of “Undefeated”

It was a cold Michigan winter day when I first met Bill and Chris Shepler at a restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. I had just flown in from my home in Scottsdale, Arizona. My meeting with the Sheplers had been arranged by Dr. Patty Janes, a professor at Central Michigan University. Patty had been placing CMU students with Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry Service for many years and had observed that help was needed in facilitating a successful transition from the second to the third generation in this family-owned and operated business. She had recommended that CEO and father, Bill and his eldest son, Chris invest in my coaching and consulting services. We had a good conversation and agreed to a contract.

the ceo magazine, succession planning,
Identifying and Developing Leaders and Future Leaders…Yes, the Need for Succession Planning

There are no strong companies, without having strong current leaders and a strong bench of emerging leaders. Although this has always been true, never in recent history has the need for outstanding leaders been more acute than it is today. In today’s challenging economy, CEO’s and senior executive teams are facing enormous challenges when it comes to achieving and sustaining breakthrough operating results. Globalization, economic change, more stringent regulation, and tougher governance make realizing shareholder value increasingly difficult.

the ceo magazine, hiring

People frequently ask me about the advisability of testing sales people for pre-employment or succession planning. Don’t do it!

I discourage the practice for several reasons. First, the skill set of sales people differs from that of others in the organization. Certainly, the battery of tests I use would determine if a given sales professional has some of the requisite personality traits for success: high achievement drive, a willingness to overcome obstacles, a competitive attitude, an ability to bounce back from disappointment, and the talent for “reading” people and situations.



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