Passing your business to a successor such as the next generation of family or key employees is hard – no doubt about it!
a process that current leadership knows must be done, yet no one really wants to do it. Just anoint a successor and be done with it – welcome to Vegas, baby!
OK, you know what’s coming – the probability is that the transition and performance of the anointed one will be rocky and fraught with financial minefields, disgruntled managers and overall uncertainty.
Without thorough planning, you are risking the company’s future performance…and your own future financial security because chances are that there is no big bag of money at closing for the departing leader.
You must plan the selection of successors with an even greater level of detail and determination than you would plan a marketing initiative, machinery/equipment acquisition or hiring of an employee.
Perform your due diligence in choosing a successor as you would for any other critical company initiative.
To increase the probabilities of success, you must create a vision of the desired outcome, with hard facts, years before the transition.
maybe siblings, sons or daughters, nieces, nephews, longtime employees, or key management. You have interacted with them over many years, in many situations and deepened your affection, developed relationships and increased dependence.
Just because you love these people and want to do all you can to ensure their futures does not mean they are automatically in line to succeed to the throne.
You must understand and honestly assess the:
- ethical and emotional attributes
- intellectual competence
- core motivators
…of everyone helping run the business.
This assessment is best performed by licensed industrial psychologists. These professionals will give you the insight into each individual and provide comparisons to peer groups in similar positions. Their job is not to select the successor, but to provide you with information to make better-educated decisions – decisions that will affect the future of everyone in the company and their extended families.
As any head coach would say, “Know your team” – you don’t select an offensive front lineman to be the quarterback!