1. Perform your own due diligence so you understand the challenges the outgoing leader is leaving behind. That person will want everything to look good, and you’ll want to think that everything’s good. Find out the real story. Verify information, especially recent initiatives.
2. Talk with customers and employees to discern any trouble on the horizon, not to mention more immediate threats.
3. Assess your prospective team’s quality. Are team members highly capable and able to critically evaluate the firm’s business model? Do they agree on the basic opportunities, problems and solutions?
— Adapted from “When CEOs Step Up To Fail,” Jay A. Conger and David A. Nadler, MIT Sloan Review.