Blogs

When it's Time for the CEO to Go (2014)

Manfred Kets de Vries

"Succession & when it's time to let go"

This blog entry with the Harvard Business Review discusses the three phases of a CEO's lifespan and what happens when leaders outstay their time and performance starts to decline, to the detriment of the company and to the incoming successor. Leadership programs can help out-going leaders reduce the anxiety of retirement and prepare them for a graceful exit.

Harvard Business Review, 2014

Read more

Add Comment

Go back


Related content

"How would you like to be remembered?"

The Epitaph Question


How would you like to be remembered? What would you like to be your epitaph? Thoughts about our legacy can influence our life’s trajectory. Consciously or unconsciously, they impact our life’s choices. Thinking about how you would like to be remembered can be a catalyst for radical change.

Published on 5 Sep, 2016

"Death anxiety and executive mortality"

Executives Must Face Their Own Mortality

This blog entry with the Harvard Business Review explores the death anxiety and what happens when we repress our fear of death and refuse to confront it.

Published on 24 Mar, 2014

"The retirement syndrome & challenges of letting go"

The Retirement Syndrome: The Psychology of Letting Go

This article analyses a problem that can be described as the retirement syndrome. In exploring the difficulties many leaders face in letting go at the end of a full career, reviews a number of the barriers to exit and provides suggestions as to how individuals and organisations can develop more effective and humane disengagement strategies.

Published on 1 Dec, 2003

"The destabilizing effect of CEO retirement"

The Dark Side of Retirement

This blog entry with the Harvard Business Review he discusses the darker side of retirement.

Published on 28 Feb, 2014

"Aging and quality of life"

Old Ages is No Place for Sissies

This working paper deals with a rather taboo subject: the consequences of prolonging life into extreme old age, now possible with advances in medical procedures.

Published on 25 Apr, 2015

"For many executives walking away can be the hardest part of the job"

Prepare Your Exit From the Start

As a leader you need to focus on your successors early in the game. Doing so will not only underpin the long-term sustainability of your enterprise, it may give you a shot at immortality.

Published on 21 Sep, 2016

"Psycho- dynamic factors & succession in Russia"

Russia’s Succession Paradox

This article examines some general psychodynamic factors that influence the succession process in Russian businesses.

Published on 1 Jul, 2008

Sex, Money, Happiness and Death: The Quest for Authenticity

Sex, Money, Happiness and Death: The Quest for Authenticity

Manfred Kets de Vries takes readers out of their comfort zone in this book. It intends to focus executives on what really counts in their lives and to shake academics down from their ivory towers and make them more attuned to the real problems of real people, instead of trying to impress each other.

Published on 15 Apr, 2009

"What are the underlying dynamics of succession?"

The Dark Side of CEO Succession

This article explores the underlying dynamics of succession.

Published on 1 Jan, 1988

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

Once you have it all, what's next?

Where to look for answers to the existential questions many of us grapple with.

Published on 13 Jun, 2018