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Bart Gets Significance

Updated: May 28


Bart is a third-generation entrepreneur. He builds his grandfather's business into a lucrative specialty niche by nurturing rich friendships in the industry.

Bart's business becomes known for a level of excellence that draws industry-wide attention. His profitability allows him to occupy cherished positions of influence. He befriends his customers and plays a mentoring role in their lives. He mentors many informally, opening doors for them to become great leaders.

Bart knows that there is no success without a successor. No one gets to drive forever. Eventually, you hand over the keys, or they are taken from you. He begins to consider passing on the baton.

As he entertains offers to pass the business baton to others, there are two offers that he pays serious attention to. But the prospective buyers have no interest in him playing a role during the transition. This bothers him.

Bart compares the possible transition with an earlier change in which he was involved. Earlier in his career, he sold his controlling interest to his partner. He assisted his former partner for more than a year, assuring the clients he once handled that they will continue to be cared for. He and his partner personally visited each major client to help transfer their trust. He remained loyal, and they did not lose a single client during the transition. To this day, he and his former partner enjoy an excellent relationship.

Bart knows that great succession transitions take time, trust, and respect. It takes time for customers, employees, vendors, and current stakeholders to get used to the idea of transition. They need assurance the new owners will guard their interests and lead the business in a good direction. Bart knows that cooperation between the buyer and seller is critical to avoid the kind of shock that can kill a business.

The two prospective new owners do not appreciate Bart's help in the transition. Knowing the potential for disaster, he declines. Selling his business to outsiders who often want a clean break from the former owner doesn't feel right.

It is then that his daughter steps forward and expresses a willingness to buy the business. The smooth legacy transfer from Bart to his daughter makes him feel significant. He begins the process of stepping aside gracefully and letting her be the boss.

Business leaders are stewards in a relay race. Four things must be valid for them to win:

  1. Trust - Runners must trust other runners on the team

  2. Speed - The runners must be fast and endure

  3. Baton Pass - Runners must pass the baton at top speed

  4. Handoff - Successful handoff is the key to winning

Bart and his daughter face a challenge in passing the leadership baton. They both need to be mindful and careful of each other. She is careful not to make her father feel pushed out; he is careful not to undermine any of her new authority in leadership.

Bart is actively involved in passing the baton for his daughter's first three years. As she grows to take complete control, he gradually steps back and allows her to succeed. She honors him with an emeritus title and responsibilities that elevate him where he flourishes. Her plans for the company are much different from his own, but he honors her by providing helpful support and assistance.

Bart's daughter has a natural business talent and is good at leading and managing people. She invests her trust in them and motivates them to achieve outstanding results.

The business expands, profits are exceptional, and Bart lives with good feelings of significance. And you should know that his daughter has already begun succession planning for the fifth generation of family leadership with an heir apparent in training.

Passing the baton from one generation of leadership to another involves a season of transition. In this season, the new generation of leaders must honor the preceding leaders while they begin to step aside. Success requires trust, respect, and open communication from both parties.

Succession planning began for Bart with some strategic conversations. To help you initiate these strategic conversations, I have created an asset that is free to you. It is my gift to you, Fourteen Questions to Fuel Succession Planning Conversations. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.

Keep making a profit, blessing your community, and advancing your purpose!

Harry T. Jones

P.S. A lot of people are having great succession planning conversations with my resource, Fourteen Questions to Fuel Succession Planning Conversations. Download it today.

*All my stories are about real people and real situations. I have changed the names and some particulars to protect them.

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