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Global politics is an exciting arena, where world leaders must constantly weigh the best interests of their country, economies, and constituents against the larger, often differing, perspectives and objectives of other countries. Even the best leaders cannot be everything to everyone, which is why the choice of next-in-command is so important.

Should something happen to a world leader, the successor must be not only willing and able, but also inspiring and authoritative in order to ease fears, stabilize the country, and promote progress. Check out the infographic below to see who is the right-hand man, woman, or in some cases, child, to the world’s leaders. 

Successors Around the World

The second-in-command may be a person who aligns with the political party or ideas of the leader, such as in the case of United States’ vice president position. Some countries, like the United Kingdom, have a representative leader position and a political position. In this example, Queen Elizabeth II reigns over 32 independent countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and all British overseas territories.

However, when it comes to law-making and political discourse, each country has their own head leader, often titled the Prime Minister. As noted on the graphic, Queen Elizabeth II is the successor for 11 North American countries, though she has no role in the governing or law-making of the countries.

Many countries, specifically in Europe, abide by succession inheritances that date back centuries. Again, while most of the successors are leaders in name only, not politically, age is not a factor for succession. Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth is 15 years old, the Netherlands’ Princess Catharina-Amalia is 13, and Princess Leonor of Spain is only 11.

The successor of any world leader must be in-line with the best interests of the country and its people in order to keep the country stabilized. The countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina are relatively new, having declared independence only 25 years ago. In their constitution, they declared the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be held by three people to represent each of the main factions of the constituents Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia. Each branch of the presidency has their own successor in order to keep the position fair and balanced.

So how does one know how to be a leader? Whether leadership is an inborn trait or a learned skill, actively studying, practicing, and constantly growing a leadership frame of mind are the benchmarks of successful leaders. Like a world leader, to be a successful leader in your own life, you must place the best interests of the organization, team, business, or family ahead of personal self-interest. By displaying strong values, a code of ethics, critical thinking, and strategic innovation, a leader can be crafted and set up for success.