Should Succession Planning Have a “No Emotion” Rule?

October 15, 2012

First of all, let’s get something on the table – all succession, particularly in family businesses, will include some emotion.

In a family business, the transition between generations brings forth similar emotions that you see with family members in their personal life transitions, e.g., first day of school, going off to college, marriage, first baby, etc. So, it’s not that much of a stretch to imagine when dad and mom are leaving the business, that it raises a tremendous sense of uncertainty and loss for those leaving the family business as well as those staying.

If you’re in a closely held business that isn’t family owned, there is still a host of emotions. Although there isn’t as strong an emotional tie as when you’re related to a co-worker, close work mates feel very much like relatives.

So, why start succession planning with a “no emotion” rule. The importance is that it’s very easy, too easy, for the parties involved to give in to the range of emotions that accompany big transitions. And fact is, succession done well calls for level heads. If you start succession with raised voices and lack of collaborative spirit, it certainly won’t get better from there.

When your business is engaged in succession, set some ground rules about how everybody is to work together to see the process through. When you get to certain issues, these goals may be more aspirational, but they will serve to ground the succession team reminding them they are a team and are trying to do something good for the business – something above their own, individual agendas. Working that way will take a lot of emotional self-control – which will be hard upfront but will pay off handsomely once the process completes and the next generation of leadership is in place.

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Culture Change Starts With One Person

October 12, 2012

Company culture is now the hot topic in the business world. I think one of the reasons culture has become a desired business focal point is that people now see that it’s much more than the “feel good” part of a company. In fact, research shows that culture is a bona fide part of [...] Continue Reading…

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Happy New Year From The Solutions Group

December 31, 2011

It’s December 31 and the New Year is almost upon us. So, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and support throughout 2011.

For those of you who blog, you know it isn’t easy keeping it going. But, it’s much easier with readers like you. Your ideas, encouragement and just [...] Continue Reading…

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Culture Change: Do We Want To Versus Do We Have To

November 2, 2011

In the past few years, the importance of culture to business productivity and profitability has become well accepted. But, that acceptance is more often seen at the president or CEO level, than any other level in the organization. If culture is such an important engine for business success, why is culture change often seen [...] Continue Reading…

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EI in the Face of Crisis and Change

October 25, 2011

EI – emotional intelligence – can be easy or hard to muster.

Yes, when things are calm, on course, going your way, it’s much easier to step back, take a breath and chart your best course.

How is your EI when your back is up against the wall?


But the true test of [...] Continue Reading…

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Emotional Intelligence: Engaging At Your Best

October 19, 2011

We all know when we are bringing our best to a situation. And, we all know when we’re having an off day. For optimal emotional intelligence (understanding your thoughts and feelings, and in turn, relating in the best ways with others), what are some things you can do for engaging at your best?

Getting Focused

[...] Continue Reading…

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Emotional Intelligence: You Understand But Do You Do Something?

October 13, 2011

In some ways the title of this blog entry doesn’t even make sense. That is, if you learn something and it’s worth caring about, wouldn’t you naturally address it?

Actually, not necessarily.

The human characteristic of caring about others and doing something about it can all be considered empathy. In the course of executive coaching, I [...] Continue Reading…

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Hiring Essentials: Are People Looking for the “Hidden Job Market”?

October 11, 2011

In recent discussions with employers and job seekers, I was struck by the strangest thing – ALL OF THESE PEOPLE ARE HAVING TROUBLE FINDING EACH OTHER.

Let’s start with employers. Even with the current level of high unemployment, there are jobs out there to be had. Yes, they require specialized skills, but far short of [...] Continue Reading…

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Customer Service 2.0: Maybe It Isn’t Fun Behind the Counter, Either?

October 4, 2011

Flying isn’t fun anymore. This isn’t an earth shattering insight if you’ve flown anywhere in the last 3-4 years (really, much longer). Others have written about how the amount of security post-9/11, or the way most airports are constructed as stressful environments, make flying unpleasant well before you’re in the air.

So, I was at [...] Continue Reading…

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Culture War Stories: The Yelling Boss

September 30, 2011

Yes, believe it or not, there are still too many bosses out there that don’t understand that they are the captains of their teams. Some are good, even wonderful captains. Some – not so much.

Reinforce, praise, support, coach the team, and people perform well because they are treated well (notice I didn’t say pay [...] Continue Reading…

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