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4 Ways Generational Differences Can Save Your Family Business

4 Ways Generational Differences Can Save Your Family Business

When one thinks of generational differences it can be easy to think of these as a negative; as the seeds of corporate conflict. But looking back on my own childhood and the early years of my adult working life, I now recognize that a family business is strongest when it can successfully balance honoring long-held traditions with leading change and innovation.

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6 Leadership Assessment Tools to Try in 2021

6 Leadership Assessment Tools to Try in 2021

I have always been serious about improving my leadership skills and investing in professional development. This goes back 25 years to when I was a young leader in my family business, and was responsible for leading a team of people who were older and more experienced than myself. Today, as a leadership and succession planning keynote speaker, I help my clients develop these qualities.

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Leading Yourself to the Top in Succession Planning

Leading Yourself to the Top in Succession Planning

Within the next 10 years, Boomers will have all but handed over the reins of corporate leadership to succeeding generations. This is likely the biggest leadership handover the corporate world has seen to date, and companies large and small are wisely making preparations. On the succession planning keynote speaker circuit, I’ve been working with my clients to create unique strategies that work within the realms of their family businesses.

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Tips for Building a Balanced Board

Tips for Building a Balanced Board

As a succession planning keynote speaker, I meet a lot of family business and closely held company owners—and I find that a surprising number of them are operating without any kind of advisory board. Of course, most of them are attending my talks in the context of...

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Five Reasons Your CEO is Putting Off Retirement

Five Reasons Your CEO is Putting Off Retirement

In my travels as a succession planning keynote speaker, I meet a lot of business owners & CEOs. Not surprisingly, the subject of succession planning comes up often, but what *is* surprising — the number of successful corporate leaders who claim to have a succession plan in their head, and nothing written down.

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This One Thing Could Bring Your Business Down (and it’s Not COVID-19)

This One Thing Could Bring Your Business Down (and it’s Not COVID-19)

In the midst of this global crisis that we’re all navigating together, most business owners and leaders are focused on basic survival. They’re exploring the nuances of a (suddenly) remote workforce, looking for creative ways to recoup unexpected losses, and pondering substantial operational pivots to adapt to an ever-expanding “distance marketplace.”

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Inspiration in Transition: On Successfully Weathering the Storm

Inspiration in Transition: On Successfully Weathering the Storm

In times of crisis, employees look to their leaders for reassurance as well as inspiration. They want to know that the company they work for is going to survive the current challenges—and hopefully, one day thrive. We have never before seen the global economy hit “pause” in this way.

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Stepping Out, Not Down: Why Your Aging CEO Won’t Retire

Stepping Out, Not Down: Why Your Aging CEO Won’t Retire

You’ve done your succession planning homework, and you’ve taken all the right steps—whether this involved meticulously grooming younger members of the family business, or conducting an exhaustive search for a competent and closely aligned outside candidate for you...

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Freedom to Fail: One Simple Way to Foster Fearless Employees

Freedom to Fail: One Simple Way to Foster Fearless Employees

Failure is an inevitable part of life—and, of course, business. It’s a topic I cover thoroughly as leadership and succession planning speaker, in part because I learned early in my career to actually value failure for the indelible lessons it can teach us, both about business and about ourselves.

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Death of the Top-Down Model: 3 Rules for Employee Engagement

Death of the Top-Down Model: 3 Rules for Employee Engagement

During some recent travels on the business growth speaker circuit, I read a Gallup article about productivity that echoed my sentiments about the future of business leadership. In past generations, management was about control. Managers, in general, could be counted on to be senior staff members; their experience was comprised of hard-won knowledge about company processes and procedures, and their leadership was based on enforcing these.

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Talent + Technology: Hiring for the Digital Economy

Talent + Technology: Hiring for the Digital Economy

On the business growth speaker circuit, I hear a lot of talk about Millennials. I recently wrote a post on how to adapt to working with this generation, and wanted to supplement those ideas with some thoughts on how their unique toolkit and perspective is affecting the way we hire. The global workforce is on the brink of a powerful sea of change.

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The Myth of “The Right Time” + Three Reasons to ACT NOW

The Myth of “The Right Time” + Three Reasons to ACT NOW

As a leadership keynote speaker, there’s one phrase I hear more often than any other: “We’re just waiting for the right time to make these changes.” If there truly was a “right time” for any kind of change, whether personal or professional, I probably wouldn’t have a career on the leadership keynote speaker circuit.

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The Art of Saying “No” – Real-World Strategies for the Over-Committed

The Art of Saying “No” – Real-World Strategies for the Over-Committed

As a reformed over-committer, I have seen first-hand how easy it is to fill up your calendar with tasks and appointments that aren’t personally OR professionally fulfilling. When I first began to practice the art of saying “no,” I started every sentence with the word “sorry.” Now, when I’m declining an invitation or project, I start with “thank you. Particularly during my time on the succession planning speaker circuit, I found I had dozens of opportunities during the day to give away my most precious resource—my time—for free.

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The Role of the Board During Family Business Succession

The Role of the Board During Family Business Succession

The combination of family and business is always a challenging one – and never more so than during the changing of the guard. As I’ve seen first-hand, both during my travels as a succession planning speaker and in my experience taking over my family’s business, firm boundaries, and indisputable objectivity are essential to the succession planning process. As a succession planning speaker, I’m often asked for common succession planning scenarios in which a Board of Advisors can be particularly helpful.

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5 Ways Leaders Undermine their Teams’ Success

5 Ways Leaders Undermine their Teams’ Success

It may sound counter-intuitive, but one of the reasons I’ve been so successful as a business turnaround speaker is that I’ve experienced nearly ALL of my clients’ challenges first-hand. There are countless situations in which we can unknowingly stand in our own way—here are five scenarios I see most often in my work, and how to get around them.

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Why Families Fight During Succession and How to Stop It

Why Families Fight During Succession and How to Stop It

It may not surprise you to learn that many businesses fail to survive the succession process and fall prey to family infighting. Here are a few reasons conflict situations that might arise during this complex and emotionally charged time—and how to defuse them.

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