An impressive track record is not enough to prepare you for being a CEO — it’s necessary, but not enough.

The CEO job is fundamentally different from any other senior leadership role. Until you’ve lived it, you can’t fully know what it’s like.

But there are steps you can take to be prepared.

In our work with corporate boards, CEOs, and human resources executives, we see too many companies that wait too long or fail to take the right steps to prepare candidates for the top job.

And too few candidates have taken a close look at — much less developed — the full range of what it takes to succeed as the organization’s top leader. It’s not surprising, then, that almost half of all CEOs fail and companies struggle with short-tenured chief executives.

For companies looking to improve the outlook for CEO succession, consider these 3 fundamental tips:

  • Start sooner and plan more.
  • Understand the differences between being a senior leader and being the CEO.
  • Give each candidate a tailored opportunity to bridge any gaps before a selection is made.

4 Kinds of CEO Readiness

We’ve found that the well-prepared candidate shows 4 kinds of readiness:

Infographic: 4 Keys to Becoming a CEO

Candidates want to be sure they’ve covered all 4 areas — experience readiness, personal readiness, network readiness, and relationship readiness — before they step into the spotlight and the top job.

Download this white paper to learn more about each type of readiness and how to prepare for it, as well as the 7 deadly sins that lead to CEO failure and concrete steps you can take to bridge the successor’s readiness gaps before the transition is made.

Download White Paper

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