I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the way we treat each other at the office. It’s easy to have a conversation and say that things will be different, and much harder to make sure that change actually does take place. Kelly and Liz stuck around and made sure we were true to our word. They ensured we were becoming more aware of our actions and that we were changing our behaviors in the ways we said we would. I’ve witnessed this on many accounts. Even today I received an email from my superior thanking me for the hard work I’d done in taking on an extra project last week. This small act was HUGE to me (Even my President agreed that six months ago this never would have happened because he just didn’t see its value prior to our work with Kelly and Liz.) Our culture is so much better now, not only for me.
Through more effective communication between superiors and staff we are now more able to understand and identify small issues before they become big problems. We have learned to stop pointing fingers and start talking to each other to work out a plan to resolve any issue.”
Executive Vice President
Don’t leave it up to chance, make a proactive choice and plan your succession
The family business owner who has seen his/her company flourish under his/her own hands must not forgo the burdens of leadership when the going gets rough. He/she must make tough decisions as well as the easy ones and one of the toughest he/she must make is planning for the future of his/her family business through the coming generations. Whether he/she likes it or not, his/her family business must someday run without him/her.
The future president of the family company twenty years from now, should be a matter of choice and training, not luck. No business owner has enough competent people working for him/her to leave succession to chance. If he/she is fortunate enough to have a few good managers by blood or recruitment, he/she is multi-blessed. His/her choice of a successor must be based on the needs of the company for the future, not a replay of the requirements of the past. The choice must take into account how the business needs to be run tomorrow. The man or woman who replaces the business owner must be trained to think in both present and future terms. Consequently, I suggest that business owners become the selectors of their successors rather than compensators for the inadequacies of their subordinates.
The business owner must become a teacher. He/she must realize that both teachers and business people have the same responsibility, to pass their knowledge on to those who will succeed them. To do this well the business owner needs a board of directors who’ll review his/her progress in that training and insist that he/she graduate his/her student. He/she also needs a council of advisors who will help him/her fill in the gaps in the curriculum where he/she doesn’t know the subject matter.
Family business owners need to have a sense of destiny. This is the sort of vanity in which the family business owner rarely indulges him/herself. Deep down, this is what the family business is all about; to build a successful business is a self-chosen date with destiny. Call me to start preparing for your destiny as early as possible.