Transferring ownership across generations

We’re a two-generation company, and I find that ownership is very confusing. It feels like as long as the seniors are alive, we in the next generation will never own the company, even though we’re now doing the majority of the heavy lifting. On top of that, the seniors represent a huge financial drain on the company. Given what they’re taking out of the business, why would they give up control?

Thoughts of the day: Think about what control you want, and what leverage you have to get it. Figure out how to make the senior generation whole. Make sure the next generation is ready to run the business.

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Reaching for more, with confidence

A wise person once told me that the fear of rejection is something that some people internalize – when you can let go of that fear it’s empowering; if you don’t get there it holds you back. I want to empower my people, encourage them to do more. I know I have to hold people accountable and challenge them to do more so they can earn more. How do I do that without causing them to fear?

Thoughts of the Day: It’s all about approval and a secure sense of belonging. Make sure you and your employees are clear about what’s expected. Help each employee to visualize success. Reassure your people that you will stand behind them one way or another, until they get to the other side of the problem.

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Building a Success Model

If we’re thinking about the future, none of us is passionate about the industry we’re in. We’re seeing troubles and struggles with every aspect of our current business model. How do we decide where to go from here?

Thoughts of the day: It’s not just startups that need to come up with a fresh-start business plan. Work backwards, building your new plan around success factors. Make a plan to align your company, top to bottom — vision, strategy, goals and tactics.

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Being nice does not mean being a doormat

14734986 - a businessman burdened by heavy taxes

I’m not aggressive and I have to get it done. I’m a nice guy, but while I tend to see the best in other people, I know I also get walked on by vendors, customers and sometimes even employees. How do I find the balance?

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Think about what makes you call yourself a “nice guy.” Hone skills that are synonymous with leadership. Make sure you’re clear about where you want to go with the company. Make asking for input a sign of strength, not weakness.

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How to see the forest you love despite the trees in the way

I am so wrapped up in the day-to-day activities of my business that I don’t get around to working on the big picture. How much of a problem is this, really? After all, I love the work we do and I’m really good at it.

Thoughts of the day: A business needs more than the work it does. An owner has an obligation to the business, to ensure that it stays around to continue doing what it does to serve the needs of its customers and employees. By organizing and overseeing the business you can also ensure you get to do the work you want to do long into the future.

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