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The Great Leadership Development and Succession Planning Toolkit is a “best of” collection of blog posts from the award winning blog Great Leadership, written by Dan McCarthy, an experienced leadership development practitioner and author. Over the years Dan has established a reputation as a shrewd commentator on the state of leadership in contemporary management. As an executive himself Dan writes from the point of view of what organizations and managers must do to ensure that they do what is right for their organization by developing the talents and skills of their employees. Now in The Great Leadership Development and Succession Planning Kit, Dan has gathered these lessons in one volume that is a must-read for anyone who manages anyone else. The posts have been edited and organized as a user-friendly “toolkit”, with easy to follow step-by-step tips, instructions, templates, and practical advice. It is intended to be used by leadership development practitioners, HR pros, coaches, consultants, leaders and aspiring leaders as a “do-it-yourself” resource for leadership development and succession planning. The content is organized into five sections: Section one, “The Foundation”, provides an overview of succession planning and leadership development. It also includes information on how to create a business case for leadership development, a leadership development strategy, and a leadership competency model. Section two is all about succession planning. It includes detailed guidelines for how to create a talent profile, identify critical positions and talent pools, how to identify and manage high potentials, and how to use a performance and potential matrix (a “nine box”) in a talent review meeting. While many organizations and managers do an adequate job in succession planning, many fall short when it comes to the development of their employees. Section three is a comprehensive collection of proven methods used to develop great leaders. It includes individual development planning, giving and receiving feedback, new manager integration, stretch assignments, learning journals, assessments, off-the-job development, how to develop a leadership development training program, involving leaders, how to measure the impact, and much more. Section four is a collection of easy-to-follow guidelines and tips on how to improve critical leadership skills. It includes how to develop leadership presence, strategic thinking, critical thinking, inspiring trust, creating a motivating environment, improving performance, managing global virtual teams, building optimism, having effective one-on-ones, financial literacy, how to lead a team meeting, and more. Finally, section five includes two must-have leadership development templates, free to use and reproduce: an individual development plan (IDP) and a performance and potential matrix (nine-box).

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