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A roadmap for seamless transitions in leadership

October 17, 2011 Blog 1 min read

I took over as Managing Partner of Plante Moran on July 1, 2009. I was both excited and daunted at the prospect of stepping into then-managing partner Bill Hermann’s shoes, but I knew I was prepared. In fact, Bill and I had experienced a succession process that made the transition seamless. It was so smooth that I told Bill, “You really ought to write a book about this!”

Now, I said that in jest, but it didn’t take long for us to realize that we might be on to something. Between the two of us, Bill and I have more than 70 years’ experience observing leadership transitions: the good, the bad, and the ugly. And both of us have firsthand experience of what a successful transition looks and feels like. Add to that the harsh truth—that transition often gets pushed to the back burner when it should be at the forefront of all business strategies—and that was that. We decided to make that book a reality.

We partnered with Sheryl James, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to help tell our story, and we broadened it. After all, the actual transition is the last step of the strategy; the real key to successful transitions is sustainability. Create a sustainable organization, and you’re more than halfway there.

I’m excited to tell you that our book, “Succession Transition: A Roadmap for Seamless Transitions in Leadership” is available beginning today. Those of you who are interested can check it out at or If you do read the book, please stop back by, and tell me what you think. I’m very interested in hearing your feedback.

In our everyday lives, there are enough factors that we can’t control. Succession is not one of them.  Hopefully, this book can be the first step in helping to empower organizations to take control of their ultimate destinies and ensure successful leadership transitions.

What about you? What do you think is the secret of successful leadership transitions? 

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