Next Gen Takeover Requires Discussions

Our parents are getting ready to retire, but I sense they’re not ready to trust that we can take over. There are four of us in the next generation. We have been in the company for a while. One of us is more serious about making something of the business and one of us has mixed feelings about sticking around to see this through. Two seem like they’re coming along for the ride. I get that our parents may have concerns, but at some point we have to move forward with having the next generation take over. How do we get there? 

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Figure out what each player wants. Set goals and document an action plan that describes what you and your parents want to accomplish with the company. Have open and frank conversations with your siblings about what each is and is not prepared to commit to. Decide if you need help negotiating details between generations.

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Managing a Young Workforce

We’ve hired several young, entry level workers, and we’re hoping to maximize our opportunity with them. Not sure if anyone at age 21 knows what they want to do, but you have to start somewhere. How do we tap into their potential without burning them out?

Thoughts of the Day: There are many reasons to figure out how to hire and retain an entry level workforce. Be sure to consider the young workforce’s needs when it comes to retention, but don’t forget to deal with the basic needs of every employee regardless of age or experience. Add doses of supervision, mentoring and coaching.

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Urgent or Important, What’s On Your List of To Do’s?

I just don’t have time to do the things I need to do. I get in early, leave late, still have a ton of things on my task list. I know we’re all busy and that’s as it should be. But this is crazy. I’ll never get through it all. Feel like I’m drowning. What can you suggest?


THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Start the day with one of the big, bad, important to do’s. Set realistic expectations. Organize based on importance. Hire to your weaknesses. Learn to delegate effectively.

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Who Is Accountable?

I’m finding that my partner and I regularly let ourselves off the hook. Occasionally we might get upset about something the other did or didn’t do, but mostly we accept each other’s excuses. These typically are along the lines of “I couldn’t get it done because something got in the way,” or “Something unexpected happened that disrupted my plans.” The end result is that our company might not perform as well this coming year as it could. How do we fix that?


THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: It’s often said that business owners are the least accountable people in the world, because they report to no one — ouch! Ask regularly, “Are you making me a promise to deliver on what you just said?” Don’t wait until failure happens to step in. Go out of your way to treat your partner as a valuable asset, even when bad news is being delivered. If there’s a bigger problem, an elephant in the room, bring it up.

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Leaders Focus on Smooth Running and Growing Year After Year

It’s up to me to organize the workflow – which is all about being in the office to oversee what’s going on. But I also have to arrange time when I don’t have to be in the office so I can be out selling. Those are my top two goals as the owner and leader of my company. How can you help me do a good job at both?

Thoughts of the Day: All business owners have lots of demands on their time and knowing the priorities helps them stay on point. No business owner can do it alone, it takes a team to pull the business into the future. Knowing what to do now and what to put down for later makes it possible to accomplish more of the right things over longer timeframes.

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