After 17 years in the pilot’s seat, the CEO of Southwest Airlines is stepping down to make way for his successor. What struck me most about this news was the fact that Gary Kelly’s succession plan includes his staying on as executive chairman—which means he’ll be on hand to ensure a smooth transition. Kelly’s mentorship will be priceless for his successor, Bob Jordan, once he’s free to move about his new role. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned from my own transition experiences.
When it comes to succession planning for your business, are you engaging in sustainable long-term strategy, or just looking for a quick fix? In my experience, the best succession plans are those that take a proactive long-term view.
In my travels on the succession planning keynote speaker circuit, I’ve begun to field questions about developing the next generation of leaders during this incredibly pivotal time as baby boomers exit the workforce in droves. It seems like just yesterday we were talking about Millennials entering the workforce, doesn’t it? Today, with the oldest in this massive and complex demographic turning 40, they’re on the verge of overtaking X-ers as the dominant generation. They’re established employees, managers and even company leaders. So it’s time to start thinking about how they see the world—and how these different views might impact your company’s culture.
The past 18 months have given us countless insights into the broad category of “unforeseen circumstances.” With this in mind, I wanted to cover the basics of two different but equally important plans—succession planning, creating a long-term strategy for leadership changes—along with having a strategy for disaster recovery planning.
The Personal Side of Business Succession Planning It’s one of the most common pain points for my clients on the succession planning keynote speaker circuit: the leader who can’t stop leading. In a standard corporate transition, business is business. In the best of...
When diving into the fundamentals of succession planning with prospective clients I meet on the succession planning keynote speaker circuit, I often compare the process to creating a last will and testament. After all, that’s essentially what it is: basic estate planning for one’s business.
As a consultant and succession planning keynote speaker, I often take it for granted that business owners know what it is, and why it is important. However, several recent virtual conversations with groups of business owners made me realize that this is not the case—so I thought this might be a good time to revisit some succession planning fundamentals.
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.
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.
While my own family business made it to the third generation before seriously faltering, falter it did—this is a big part of why I landed on the succession planning keynote speaker circuit.
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.”
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.
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.
In my travels on the succession planning speaker and business turnaround speaker circuits, one of the most popular topics of discussion is leadership talent. My clients wonder: when is the right time to choose one’s successor, and what kind of leaders should they be looking for?
Here is the second blog in my Succession Planning Blog Series. The blogs in this series are designed to provide you with steps you can take as you travel down the road on your own succession planning journey