Succession or Replacement?

Succession or Replacement

Welcome to the period of succession planning, when we start to see who could actually replace us. Most business owners have spent a lot of years up to this point being the most influential person in their company, being the one that came up with the vision, the main source of energy and drive to produce results.  And now we will need to find someone who could at least do what we do if not more!

We all went through it. That moment of clarity. That moment when an idea sparked in our heads. That moment when we said, “Yes. I’m going to do it!” That moment when we decided to go with our gut and set up our own business.

That moment is usually followed by a period of excitement as we first start, a period of hard work and sacrifice during our start-up phase, and then that period of rapid growth as our business took off followed by a period of consolidation when we’ve accumulated a bit of cash so we can start affording to install some systems and stronger teams in our business. Now this cycle may be repeated a number of times depending on how long we’ve been in business, and some periods may be longer than others!

Then something else happens as your business has grown significantly. Another moment of clarity. A moment when you start to think about other things in life – about family, charity and the greater good. You start to say, “I need more time outside of my business to give back and make a difference in this world.”

Welcome to the period of succession planning, when we start to see who could actually replace us. Most business owners have spent a lot of years up to this point being the most influential person in their company, being the one that came up with the vision, the main source of energy and drive to produce results.  And now we will need to find someone who could at least do what we do if not more!

The following are 4 key points to consider before you hand over the reigns of your company:

1. Get clear on your WHY. During the early start-up phase, most successful business owners, and in turn their businesses are driven by a clear sense of purpose.  It could be to make a business based on making people happy, a business that makes a difference in people’s lives, a business that makes people’s lives easier, etc. Make sure you know yours and make sure it is captured in words. Failure to articulate and communicate this clearly to your team will make it harder for your business to continue to operate according to your WHY once you’ve stepped back.

2. Get clarity on your Business Structure. Having a clear business structure and KPIs will allow you to make sure that people are focused on the areas that they are responsible for. Most businesses have a fairly basic structure which starts with the Managing Director / CEO and goes down to the bottom. What about above that level? Having a clearly defined Board of Directors will help you in that there is a group of people that will monitor that the company is being run according to your WHY. Most business owners who’ve let go of their executive position in their company usually make a position in the Board as their first pit stop before fully stepping away.

3. Find who gets your WHY.  When finding someone to be the CEO of your company, make sure you find someone who is a visionary type and shares your WHY. Someone who gets excited by and communicates your WHY daily. Most business owners would look for someone who knows HOW to do things but are not passionate about WHY we do things. This is a sure recipe to make sure that your business will deviate from its WHY and therefore its edge and passion. Having HOW people in the management positions under the CEO is crucial to get things done, but a visionary at the top will help excite everyone to chase a fantastic dream.

4. Delegate, don’t abdicate. Having identified the right person, take your time in handing over. Have a clear process for how you will be handing over your authority. This will allow your successor to know exactly what is expected and will allow you to feel more comfortable that your company will be run the way you would like it to. Unless you are completely selling out, you still own your business, therefore make sure that you don’t just hop off the roller coaster and then point your finger when things go wrong.

By thoroughly going over these 4 points, you will be able to ensure the person coming in succeeds you and your vision, not just replace you from doing your job.

– Marvin Suwarso –

Related Article(s) :

  1. Bisnis Keluarga Berjalan dengan Profesional, Mengapa Tidak?
  2. Percaya Sistem atau Sistem Kepercayaan?

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