The Great Leadership Development & Succession Planning Kit

by Jennifer Miller on October 3, 2012

in Book Review, Leadership

Great Leadership Development Succession Planning Kit_coverI’ve noticed something about the blogging space – there’s a whole lot of content around general leadership and a lot less about the specifics of developing leaders in a company environment. That’s why I enjoy Dan McCarthy’s Great Leadership blog – he blogs about the business-related tactics needed to develop leadership competency at the organizational level. And, he backs it up with real-world experience, having been responsible for leadership development at Paychex, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, and Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation.


Dan sent me a copy of his new e-book – The Great Leadership Development & Succession Planning Kit and asked if I would review it. I consider Dan a friend and mentor, so yes, this reviewer is slightly biased. But know this: I also won’t endorse things that don’t meet my professional standards.

Who would benefit by reading this book?  You should buy this book if you are in:

a)      The HR or T&D function of a small to mid-sized company and are looking for a simple, comprehensive primer on setting up a systematic process for developing leaders in your company.
b)      the HR or T&D function of a large company and want to know if the expensive consultant you hired was worth it (think of it as reverse-benchmarking).

c)      A management function and want to initiate your own leadership development.

If you’re in the HR or T&D functions, sections I – III and V will be of the most help to you, as they outline the business case for leadership development and provide specific how-to’s for talent management reviews, succession planning and development practices. Section V is worth the price of the book alone because it includes templates for a Performance/Potential grid for succession planning and an Individual Development Plan.

Are you a manager looking to create more leadership impact? Then section IV is a great place to start, with tips on creating trust, building creative thinking, running effective meetings, strategies for building optimism, to name a few.

This book is written with an easy-going, self-deprecating style – no pontificating here! Dan knows what he’s talking about – he’s both a practitioner in leadership development and has led numerous teams over the years. What I appreciate most about this book is that it’s got enough specific how-to content without overwhelming the reader.

Dan has priced this book at a modest $7.99 USD. It will be worth every penny if you are in one of the three categories I listed above. Go check it out at You’ll be glad you did.



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