There are all sorts of sad business tales of companies that have thrived until a generation not totally invested in the business let it tumble into obscurity. Likewise, there is also a trend among investors, tech giants and performers, to come out and say that they don’t intend on giving their children anything.
I can just hear my children say, “wait, what?” My daughter once said she didn’t know if she wanted to do my job or my husband’s job when we die. I gently pointed out to her that we didn’t have to die for her to take over the company. While it would be nice to know that the company I started from nothing would continue after I decided to “retire” (not that I plan to – I enjoy what I do too much), that is not what is uppermost in my mind.
What is important to me is not succession planning but client planning. Sure, a five or ten-year plan is good, but don’t neglect today. My clients are the ones I have right now and the ones that I haven’t met yet. They are who I am concentrating on right now. Besides, since I started the company, I have a pretty specific vision of what I want it to look like down the road. I don’t know if I could hand it over and let others make it their own. Tough choice, but not one I am even going to entertain these days. I’m too busy looking for you, the next client.
When the telephone rings, pick it up – it might be me.