Dr. Seuss on Succession Planning: Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now!

In August 1972, the celebrated children’s author Dr. Seuss addressed the issue of succession planning. His chief character in the book Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! couldn’t bring himself to get out of the way and let someone else take center stage. In July 1974, Dr. Seuss sent a copy of the book—with the main character’s name changed to Richard M. Nixon—to columnist Art Buchwald, who received permission to publish it as his column for July 30. Nine days later, Richard M. Nixon went. This isn’t a political column about the first president in history to resign. It is, however, somewhat of an editorial on knowing when to leave and having the grace and good sense to do so. Think about the people in sports, business, etc. who stayed long after their careers had peaked and their ability to perform at a world-class level had diminished. Here are common reasons for ha

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