Selling your company to a successor can be an excellent course of action for you and your business. But if a successor has only mastered the mechanics of the business, he or she is doomed to fail.
In addition to learning the mechanics of the business, they need to develop their leadership effectiveness, their strategic thinking, their vision, their judgment and an owner’s mindset.
Effective Leadership Skills – The effectiveness of a person’s leadership is determined by how well they are trusted and respected by the people they lead. A leader who people trust and respect will always get better results.
Strategic Thinking – The ability to think strategically is essential for a leader guiding an organization. Without an understanding of what a strategy is and how to develop one, leaders will often focus on goals and tactics that are often misguided and usually result in new challenges.
Vision – It is essential to develop a vision for the future of the organization. Without vision, a leader will simply continue to execute the existing business model, often getting left behind as the economy shifts, customer/client preferences change, and competitors adapt.
Sound Judgment – Having sound judgment – unbiased by emotions – allows an owner to make good business decisions. When we allow emotions to cloud our judgment, we make decisions that are misguided.
An Owner’s Mindset – Up until a successor takes over as an owner, they have typically only ever been an employee. There are several differences between the way an employee thinks and the way an owner thinks, and if this shift doesn’t take place, problems will arise.
Interpersonal Dynamics – In order for meaningful improvement to take place, open, honest, challenging, and confidential conversations with the successor must take place. But it’s virtually impossible when those conversations are with the person who will decide whether they will be taking over the company.
Blind Spots – Regardless of the number of years of experience we have, our level of intelligence, and the amount of education we’ve had, we all have blind spots. We can’t see what we’re missing. Because getting past blind spots requires outside perspective, it makes it nearly impossible for an owner to effectively develop his or her successor.
Objectivity – Virtually everyone around a successor has an agenda – their co-workers, their spouse and especially the owner. They either want things to change or they want things to stay the same. In order for a successor to hone their thinking and judgment, they need an unbiased sounding board.
Time Constraints – There’s a reason it’s called successor development and not successor training. The growth that needs to occur happens over time. And most owners simply don’t have the time needed to give a successor the attention required for effective development.
Skill Set – Let’s face it, successful business owners are pretty expert at the business of their business. They couldn’t have gotten where they are without developing that expertise. But in order for a successor to succeed in their development, they need to be coached and mentored.
Because coaching and mentoring don’t come naturally to most owners, it’s nearly impossible for an owner to effectively develop his or her successor.
We’re passionate about helping successors become more effective and companies achieve greater success. We’ve been providing executive coaching and leadership development for over 20 years. Our experienced, business-savvy coaches bring meaningful insights and perspectives to the conversation, based on years of real-world business experience as business executives and business owners.
* Our Successor Assessments provide insights into a person’s strengths and weaknesses as a leader and an owner. We examine the full range of competencies needed to succeed in leading and owning a company.
* Our Executive Coaching focuses on: