Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 20

job, she was kept at arm's length from the
process. Yet as interim CEO, "I was supposed to know what was going on with the
organization, but I couldn't be involved with
that at all."
Marler stood out. "Julianna has all the
tools, in my opinion," Wolfe said. "That's
why she was hired."
It didn't hurt that the Port of Vancouver's
culture is a point of pride - and the commission didn't want to change it. "We didn't
hire Juliana because she was the insider, but
the other two applicants would have been
a lot different," Wolfe said.
For ports that have challenges, going
outside can make sense, Marler said.
"Sometimes it's not a bad thing to shake
things up. It can be a disadvantage if you
have a history with folks that aren't as positive organizationally. It also can be tough
in that you are expected to know everything and you don't get any downtime.
But it's a very different role and there is a
learning curve."
She said she has to remind people that,
even though she knows the port, she is still
new to her job. "Ports are dynamic and the
CEO role is a very different role."

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Planning Ahead
No matter how much preparation occurs
on the front end, stepping into the CEO
role isn't easy. Marler, though, would like to
begin planning for her eventual successor
well before the need is there. Part of the
culture at the port is promoting from within.
"We do that at all levels," she said. "I would
start planning sooner so that the executive
team has the skills in place so that any one
of them could step into the role if needed."
New Orleans certainly is proof of that,
with the transition alleviating "the tension
and paralysis that can so often accompany
long leadership transitions," Christian said.
"It has been a smooth transition with a minimal learning curve.... In preparing to assume
my new role, I spent a lot of time strategizing
about ways to further the port's role as one
of the state's largest economic engines and
building stronger relationships with businesses and other partners." 
Given the ever-changing nature of ports
and the challenges that come from global
dynamics, identifying a future successor too
far in advance isn't always the best strategy. "When the job comes open, you have
to understand your environment and the

current situation and figure out what you
need," Marler said. "But then you have to
give enough time to make the transition."
Granted, an abrupt CEO departure
necessitates the need for a plan - even if
it doesn't detail who is in line for the job.
"We were caught by surprise," Wolfe said.
"We hadn't talked about how we would
approach this, so we were left to formulate
our own plan."
But even the best laid succession plans do
not automatically equal success. "There is
a saying that if you've seen one port, you've
seen one port," Christian said. "Promoting
from within can contribute to greater stability in the organization and less turmoil
during leadership transitions. Ideally, a
succession candidate has been groomed
for the role and the promotion is part of a
well-orchestrated, strategic succession plan.
That said, promoting from within is not a
guarantee of success. Cultural alignment in
one part of an organization is no assurance
that that same alignment will exist when
an executive is moved into a different part
of the business."
For Marler and Christian, though, it has
proven to be a successful strategy. ●

3/8/17 5:38 PM


http://www.portofnh.org http://www.portofnh.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Stakeholders: A Seaport’s Secret Resource
Why Ports Need Allies: Maintaining a Working Waterfront Takes a Network of Supporters
The Next Generation of Leaders — Succession Planning Provides Security, Guidance for Future
Port Security — An Exercise in Partnerships
Lessons From the Past: A Renewed Commentary on Port Security
Cyber Security: What Port Authorities Need to Know
Tomorrow’s Leaders Need More Than On-the-Job Training
Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Intro
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - bellyband1
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - bellyband2
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - cover1
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - cover2
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 3
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 4
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 5
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - AAPA Headquarters
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 7
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - From the President’s Desk
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 9
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Stakeholders: A Seaport’s Secret Resource
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 11
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 12
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 13
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Why Ports Need Allies: Maintaining a Working Waterfront Takes a Network of Supporters
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 15
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 16
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 17
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - The Next Generation of Leaders — Succession Planning Provides Security, Guidance for Future
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 19
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 20
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 21
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Port Security — An Exercise in Partnerships
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 23
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 24
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 25
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Lessons From the Past: A Renewed Commentary on Port Security
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 27
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Cyber Security: What Port Authorities Need to Know
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 29
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 30
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 31
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Tomorrow’s Leaders Need More Than On-the-Job Training
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 33
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - cover3
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - cover4
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - divider1
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - divider2
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 41
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 42
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 43
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 44
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 45
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 46
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - outsert1
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - outsert2
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