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The Great Leadership Development and Succession Planning Kit 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.

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"Dan McCarthy’s compilation of insights and tips for leaders is an incredible resource for leadership development and succession planning!"
Marshall Goldsmith – million-selling author and #1 executive coach

"Over the years Dan McCarthy 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 bosses 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 – simply put – a must-read for anyone who manages anyone else. Insights are backed by research and practice. Dan knows of what he writes and we are the better for it."
John Baldoni - Executive educator and coach and the author of many leadership books including Lead With Purpose and Lead Your Boss.

"There's a reason that Dan McCarthy is one of the most widely followed and respected leadership bloggers around. This e-book compilation of the "greatest hits" from his blog will show you why he is. Dan's advice about how to develop great leaders is always practical and real world tested. The leadership development community is fortunate to have Dan as a thought leader and even more fortunate that he's organized his thoughts and experience in this e-book."
Scott Eblin - Executive coach, leadership strategist, speaker and author.

"Dan McCarthy is one of my core leadership guides, and his guidance is practical, time-tested and incredibly relevant in a world where developing the talent around us is truly mission critical. I love this collection of some of Dan's best posts on Leadership Development and Succession Planning! He takes the H.R. speak out and puts the practical guidance in on some important and often neglected topics and activities in leadership development. The content is well organized and every chapter/post serves up something useful. And while it's fun to explore and follow his blog, this compact collection at your finger-tips is a must-have for every manager and executive."

Art Petty - management author, speaker, and consultant

"This book is written with an easy-going, self-deprecating style - no pontificating here! Dan McCarthy 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. Readers could easily pick up the book, read it over the weekend, make some notes and be on their way to creating a more structured and meaningful leadership development system within their organization on Monday morning."

Jennifer Miller - Leadership author, speaker, and consultant

"If you are a manager in any type of organization, Dan's book is an easy read that will leave you with something to do more effectively straight away."
Steve Roesler - executive coach, author, and consultant

"If you work as a manager and need to develop your leadership skills: This book is for you.
Dan McCarthy put together his best blog posts into a useful "do-it-yourself" resource! If you want to help your organization to get to the next leadership level, I highly recommend that you use this book."
Dr. Bernd Geropp - Leadership coach and consultant

“Great leaders aren't born that way; leadership is a skillset that needs to be developed. Smart managers plan ahead for future gaps in the company's leadership by scouting out promising leaders and working with them to develop their leadership potential.
In this book, Dan assembles his best posts about leadership development and succession planning and puts them together in a logical order so you can quickly locate the information you need to design and implement a succession plan. You'll find dozens of quick tips that can be implemented easily. This book is a must-have for any leader who cares about the future of his or her company.”
Joel A. Garfinkle - Executive coach, speaker, and author

"Dan's leadership planning kit has got answers you can use. Assembled from over 500 posts coming from his well respected Great Leadership blog, this is not a book you need to read cover to cover. But it is one you'll want nearby to help you with management issues you face everyday."
Bill Matthies -  Entrepreneur, consultant, author

"Dan McCarthy is one of the strongest proponents of great leaders and great HR/L&D functions on the planet. His new book is chock full of wonderful best practices for leadership development and succession planning. The "18 Tips for Receiving Feedback" section ALONE is worth the price of the book.
You will find valuable, actionable information here on creating great leaders in your organization."
S. Chris Edmonds, author, consultant, speaker

"The cost of this ebook is a small price to pay for the practical wisdom Dan shares in this kit!"
Robert Tanner, leadership & management author, consultant, speaker


Over 40 posts and templates 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).

About the Author:

Dan McCarthy is an expert in leadership and management development. For over 20 years Dan has helped thousands of leaders and aspiring leaders improve their leadership capabilities.

As the owner of Great Leadership, Dan works with organizations and individuals to optimize their leadership capabilities. His expertise includes leadership coaching, succession planning and leadership development consulting, training, speaking, and writing.

He has a Master’s Degree in Human Resource and Organizational Development and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. He’s the author of the award winning leadership development blog “Great Leadership”, and an influential voice in social media. He’s a member of the SmartBrief on Workforce Advisory Board, and has been named one of the Top 10 Digital Influencers in Leadership.