Leadership: without it, what do you have? For many businesses across the nation, that is a valid question. People work hard all of their lives to build up a business, but when it comes time to retire they have only two choices — sell the business or pass it onto the kids. Without strong leadership, even children of successful business families can make poor choices for managing the family business. Below, we discuss some of the ways that family businesses can develop the next generation of family leaders.
Understanding Hurdles Helps to Grow Family Business Leadership Talent
It is not easy to leave behind something that is personal to you. If you are selling your business to a family member, then you have to be able to let go of the business; but, at the same time be willing to make sure that the business processes that you have put in place are working. The concerns are your reputation, the care of your clients, and the ongoing success of the business. A good resource to use while making that transition is a family business coach who can sit down with you and the person buying the business and teach both sides about the process.
The takeaway is that a business coach acts as an intermediate between the current leadership and new leadership. The process is about learning to communicate, objectively understanding deficiencies, and then planning to correct those deficiencies before passing the reins.
Deciding if You Want to Join the Business
Not every child is a good fit to run the family business. This is not just about keeping it in the family, but about the success of the business. Does the potential new leader have a willingness to develop and grow along with the business? Is this a career where the child will thrive? Is there another career that they love more than the family business? Is there a big enough financial opportunity in managing the family business? Do the child and the parents have the same picture of what success is for this business? These are all questions that need to be answered by both parties. The balance that is left is what defines your happiness, financial well-being, and the quality of your family relationships.
Becoming a Leader or Building New Family Business Leadership
It is difficult to walk in the shadow or footsteps of a successful leader. There is a constant comparison that you will need to be willing to embrace. Becoming a leader is not about becoming someone else. This is about becoming your own brand of leader. It is who you are as a leader that defines your success. That is important because it encompasses and defines what your leadership style is, the number of tools you have in your family business leadership toolbox, and the amount of confidence that you gain by being a successful leader. It also dictates your direction as a family business leader.
This is a process that is built up over time. It is not something that you want to leave until the last minute. Both the current leaders and potential new leaders must address the future leadership role long before the moment arrives. During this process, the new leader should establish themselves within the company with a goal of managing projects, getting to know the staff, and building trust with clients. The current leadership has the role of overseeing and directing the growth of all potential new leaders for the company.
Timing; It Happens
There comes a time when the current family business leadership of a company becomes outdated. The evolution of a business is enhanced by the quality of its leadership. Younger, fresher voices, and those that have more energy to bring a business into a new phase of operation or to a new kind of customer are important. That process is also very natural. Those who are successful are accountable for their actions. They build teams that support, correct, and guide them.
If you are a family business leader and want to understand more about how to transition your next generation leadership into your business, then consider working with a professional like Coach Pete who can objectively work with all parties. The goal is the continuation of the business across multiple generations.