Many companies think a horse race is all they need to pick a winner, without worrying about whether the horses are fast enough for the years ahead. These are companies that pride themselves on being obsessive about managing for performance, on paying and promoting those who deliver, while firing those who don’t. But often they turn out to be companies that think developing general managers is a waste of time, human relations an administrative task to be delegated and then ignored, and succession what you worry about the year before the CEO retires.

Joseph Bower, Harvard Business School, from The Leader Within: The Best CEO Succession Plans Groom Independent-minded Insiders for the Top Job