The Curious Leader
Published in

The Curious Leader

Three Signs Your Succession Plan Is Breeding Toxic Addiction

What’s the cost to you for perpetuating family feuds by upholding standards that may not be your own?

Recently, I published an article titled Do you Want Your Heir to Run Your Business Like You? That piece has generated a lot of personal messages.

In one message, a first-generation business owner asked me why I used the words “crushed and molded” to describe what often happens to undesired individuality.

In another message, a member of a multi-generational family business shared how they blame the next generation for not convincing the family clan to agree with their ideas.

In this article, I will respond to these comments (which also came up as a theme) by presenting three signs that point to toxic addiction when it comes to succession planning.

Sign #1: “It’s Not Me.”

In a traditional multi-generational business, the next generation is expected to follow in the footsteps of the previous generations.

In that setting, the next generation’s individuality is usually crushed and molded to conform to the standards of the previous generations.

If you believe my use of the words “crushed and molded” is harsh, here ‘s my question to you:

“What do you think happens to a person’s individuality when their uniqueness is constantly dismissed?”

Sign #2: “Yeah, But …”

In a traditional multi-generational business, the next generation’s individuality is often perceived as a threat to the survival of the clan’s ways.

If you believe it’s up to the next generation to plead their case and get the family clan to agree with their ideas, let me ask you:

“Have you ever tried to convince your parents to accept you for who you really are?” If you have, “How did that go?”

When I asked the above question to the traditional multi-generational family business member who blames the next generation for not stepping up, they chuckled and said their parents were “stubborn,” and “no amount of pleading would make them change their minds”!

I then asked that individual to put themselves in their heirs’ shoes. What do your children currently say about your level of emotional openness? Well, answering, “Yeah, but …” won’t change that!

“So What?”

At that point, many traditional multi-generational business owners often tend to rebut with, “So what?”

Never mind that these business owners may have once fought vigorously to have their own beloved individuality add value to the individuality of the previous generations!

In their minds now, it seems easier to dismiss value to preserve the family name and its assets, but at what cost?

The Quest For Collaborative Individuality

Let me be bold. Many traditional multi-generational businesses are failing because they continue to crush individuality, not understanding the compounding effect of their actions over the next generations.

The entrepreneurs who have approached me about my first article are parents. Some of them are also grandparents and great-grandparents. And as much as they may love their descendants, I also perceived a tinge of regret when it came to many of their ongoing family feuds.

What’s the cost to you for perpetuating family feuds by upholding standards that may not be your own?

What’s it worth to you to have a mutually supportive relationship with your heirs?

Putting our heads in the sand and denying the role we might have played in protecting the family clan’s standards won’t build sustainable wealth for anyone.

Acknowledging the value our individuality brings and nurturing the individuality of the next generation to add value, now, that is a profitable, emotionally intelligent succession plan.

Therefore …

What is your strategic plan for not only growing your business but also nurturing the individuality of the next generation to add value?

Let’s talk about it. Comment here or email me at anne@financialeq.coach

My name is Anne Beaulieu. I assist highly successful women entrepreneurs in designing and implementing emotionally intelligent strategic plans. Be unwaveringly Bold about Inspiring The Next Generation of Emotionally Intelligent and Strategic Leaders!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store