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Steven Needs To Spark Conversations About Succession Planning

Updated: May 28

Steven is a sixth-generation member of a highly successful family business. He has played a significant role in finding the business's niche of the future and realizing its financial rewards. With Steven's help, profits have mushroomed exponentially.

Under six generations of family leadership, the business has maximized its ability to make a profit, bless the community and advance its purpose. The employees are treated like family and give exemplary service in return. Their customers’ brand loyalty makes them the envy of the business world. The business is flourishing beyond any of their wildest dreams.

But one thing threatens its survival. The family no longer embraces its enthusiasm for succession planning from the early years.

Actually, this lack of commitment to succession planning is what led to Steven coming into the business at such a strategic level. Steven, a sixth-generation family member, was invited in by his fourth-generation grandfather, bypassing fifth-generation family members. This was an act of avoidance on his grandfather's part, avoiding the hard conversations required to bring Steven on board with complete buy-in from family leadership.

As you can imagine, this causes a significant problem. Once-strong family relationships are now strained. Morale is becoming an issue. There is an elephant in the room, and everyone knows it. The company's ability to continue to make a profit, bless its community, and advance its purpose in succeeding generations is at stake.

Maximizing their knowledge, attitudes, skills, and habits is not a strong value for the fifth-generation family members. They have not developed a mindset toward preparing for the day when they will not be there.

Steven finds an organization in their area of expertise that offers classes throughout the year on succession planning. Excitedly, he mentions it to a fifth-generation member, and their reply is revealing. "Sounds cute; why don't you check it out?"

The passion for ensuring that the business continues to make a profit in succeeding generations, bless its community and advance its purpose is no longer embraced. The value for avoidance is now embraced and threatens to become the organization's culture.

In a strategic leadership position, Steven feels the pressure for succession planning. He has inherited this problem, and it worsens as the business gets more successful. If the family continues to avoid succession planning, relational issues will continue to increase. Steven's father, uncles, and cousins must be engaged.

What can Steven do? He must initiate and encourage conversations that will help them once again embrace the value of succession planning.

It might be wise for Steven to broach the subject with his father and gain an ally. An ally to keep the succession planning conversations alive would be a big step forward. Perhaps his father can help win more supporters to the value.

It all begins with conversations and grows from there.

My heart breaks for Steven, and so many like him. I have created a resource to help initiate these strategic conversations.. 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.

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