Your CEO Succession Playbook

How To Pass The Torch So Everyone Wins

By Natalie Michael & Brian Conlin

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You’ve heard it before: 50% of all CEO succession attempts fail. Which means 50% must succeed!

Learn from leaders who beat the odds in Your CEO Succession Playbook.

Your CEO Succession Playbook is a 6-phase game plan for each step in the CEO succession process, one that doesn’t require you to work harder and faster, but rather more intentionally. For boards and transitioning CEOs, this book is your strategic companion from the start of the process right through to the hand-off and beyond.



Among dozens of tactics and a suite of tools, you will get:

  • A practical strategy for introducing the topic of CEO succession to your Board without prematurely accelerating succession;
  • A CEO success profile that you can use to benchmark candidates;
  • A model for determining who has the potential to be the next CEO;
  • Strategies for how to best develop future CEOs;
  • Advice on how to minimize ego-plays and power struggles and avoid “survival of the fittest” politics;
  • Communication samples and tips for each of the 6 key phases;
  • Leadership insights that distinguish who you need to be as a leader to build trust;
  • Self-coaching questions to help you do what’s right for your business.
  • A framework for the departing CEO who is considering their next career chapter


Brian Conlin and Natalie Michael are the Founders of Waterfront Partners, a boutique executive coaching and advisory firm focused on CEO transitions.   (  They coach CEOs to develop their successor, and move onto the next chapter of their career.  Their services aid CEOs to move up in their career, move into a new role, and move on when the time is right.  

Brian is an executive coach, business advisor and board member who spent over 30 years as a consultant and executive. He went through a successful transition as the former CEO of Golder Associates, a professional services firm that grew during his leadership from a modest regional business to a global powerhouse with 162 offices around the world and over US$1 billion in annual revenue. 

Natalie has 15 years experience as an Executive Coach and Succession / Leadership Consultant, along with experience running CEO peer groups. She has coached hundreds of executives, from Canada to Africa to New Zealand, with clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to entrepreneurial start-ups.