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Surviving the Next Generation

Today, I’m talking to family business owners. The topic is succession and succession planning.

In a typical family business, there are multiple generations. As the business moves between generations, we’ve noticed certain patterns. One pattern is that family businesses don’t often survive succession when there’s not a Visionary in the next generation. In the first generation, there is almost always a Visionary that had an idea and impulse to start the business.

Quite often in the second or third generation, there’s another Visionary to fill that role. However, every once in awhile there’s a generation that just doesn’t happen to have one. If there isn’t a Visionary or an Integrator in that next generation, that business may be destined to fail. It isn’t good news to hear but it’s just the fact of the matter.

It’s very difficult to hire a Visionary. Why? Visionaries and the way they are wired (all the good stuff about them) – are typically are not hireable.

You might be able to find another company that has a Visionary in your space. You could do a merger with them. You might acquire them. They can bring a Visionary into the mix. A Visionary could come in under a number of circumstances. The thing that’s important to realize is that it will require an equity type of deal.

Here’s what I want you do. Look in your family. Is one of your children a Visionary? It’s really important. Start thinking about this now. Think about who the next generation’s Visionary will be for your business.

Three key points to wrap this one up:

  1. The key to multi-generational succession is to have a Visionary in the next generation.
  2. We’ve seen mergers and acquisitions with a Visionary that worked.
  3. We’ve never seen a Visionary purely hired – but have seen equity deals. This is absolutely important. Start thinking about it now.

Come see us on Take the Visionary and Integrator assessments. See where you’re great. See where you could use some help. We’ve been having some great discussions with other Visionaries & Integrators over on LinkedIn and Facebook. Regardless of where you are in your process, I encourage you to join the conversation! And finally, read Rocket Fuel. If you’ve already read Rocket Fuel, and you liked it, we’d love to see a review from you on Amazon. We’d really love to hear what you think.


Until next time, Go ROCKET!




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