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Inspiring Your Successor to Succeed You

Updated: May 28

Years ago, we bought a business and used incentives to recruit a partner/successor at the beginning.

We found a young man named Mark who wanted to own his own business, but no one had given him the chance. His dream was to make enough money for his wife to be a full-time homemaker. He was a hard worker, hungry for success. We knew he was a winner looking for an opportunity.

We offered Mark the opportunity to be a partner with a 20% stake in ownership. He left a job that provided him with a company vehicle and emptied his savings account. He purchased a used car and bought his 20% share with the rest of his savings.

Giving him that opportunity has paid dividends for years now.

The business lost money for five years. But when the business broke even in year six, we financed his buying another 13%. Invested in “his” business, Mark worked ever harder and smarter.

After 20+ years, he became the majority owner. Today, with wise planning, his successor is slowly buying him out. Mark is now offering someone else the same opportunity he was given. It is a win/win situation.

Step three of the Cultivating Impact Six-Step Method for Succession Planning will create a team to maximize your business impact. Your potential successor will be a part of that team. It is up to you to inspire their commitment to becoming your successor.

Step four in our process, Exchange the Baton, begins when you offer them an ownership stake in the business.

Incentivizing your potential successor through equity in the business is the beginning of passing the baton to them. Allowing your potential successor to increase their equity in the business over time allows you to minimize your risk.

Allowing your successor equity in the business provides obvious benefits.

  • Retention

Attractive equity incentives can help you keep your best talent. These incentives can serve as a motivating factor for them to stay and commit to the long-term growth and success of the business. This arrangement allows them to build equity in the company. When their equity value is growing, yours is too!

  • Succession planning and continuity

By incentivizing a potential successor, you ensure there is a capable individual ready to step into a leadership role when the need arises. This minimizes disruptions and maintains continuity in business operations.

  • Growth and development

Incentivizing a potential successor shows your commitment to their growth and development. It encourages them to invest in their skills and knowledge, ultimately benefiting the organization. You foster their professional growth by offering mentorship, training programs, and career progression opportunities.

  • Motivation and engagement

Equity incentives can be powerful motivators that drive individuals to perform at their best. Providing financial rewards, recognition, and decision-making authority helps your potential successor feel valued and engaged. This enhances their job satisfaction and productivity.

  • Attracts top talent

Attractive incentives serve as a magnet for top talent outside the organization. Growth opportunities and reward will entice future candidates to join your company.

  • Alignment

When your successor has joint ownership with you, their decision making is more active. You will not have to watch your nickels and dimes. They will do it for you! Success for them means success for you. Knowing that their decision-making and management directly impacts the success of the company grows them.

Remember, there is no success without a successor. Seventy percent of businesses don’t survive past their first generation of leadership. You are responsible for inspiring your potential successor to lead your company one day in your absence. This happens by incentivizing them with ownership in the company.

What you are doing is rare, and amazing. Email me at and let me know how you are doing.

To help you in this process, I am doing a free six-part masterclass where I share about the Cultivating Impact 6-Step Method for Succession Planning:

  • Step 1: Recognize Your Impact, Tuesday, September 26, 11 a.m. EST

  • Step 2: Develop Your Business as Mission, Tuesday, October 10, 11 a.m. EST

  • Step 3: Build Your Team to Maximize Impact, Tuesday, November 14, 11 a.m. EST

  • Step 4: Exchange the Baton, Tuesday, December 12, 11 a.m. EST

  • Step 5: Multiply the Impact, Tuesday, January 9, 11 a.m. EST

  • Step 6: Finish Well Tuesday, February 13, 11 a.m. EST

You can reserve your spot in the first class, Tuesday, September 26, 11 a.m. EST now. The masterclasses are free, my gift to you. Space is limited. You can sign up for the first class now here.

I believe in you!

Harry T. Jones

P.S. While you are thinking about it, CLICK HERE to sign up for the first of my six-part masterclass, Tuesday, September 26, 11 a.m. EST, on The Six Steps to Succession Planning.

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