Bringing up your next generation of leaders

In a family business, bringing up the next generation of leaders can be a difficult and politically-charged endeavor. So it’s crucial to get it right if you want your business to survive and grow successfully.

To help ease the transition, here are seven tips for passing on the family business and ensuring a smooth transition:

  1. Make sure the next generation learns all aspects of the business. From working in the warehouse to packing orders, sales, and marketing, this rotation will allow for integration with other employees and provide these potential successors with an opportunity to learn the nuances of the company.
  2. Give them a chance to earn respect. As future leaders pass through areas of the organization, they have the opportunity to earn respect for their ability, knowledge, work ethic, and other contributions, increasing the likelihood of a seamless business transition.
  3. Hold future leaders to a higher standard. Don’t allow them to come in late, leave early or otherwise take advantage of being family members. Challenge them and make it clear that you expect more of them in their position than you do of your current employees.
  4. Don’t hire family members as employees if you’re not willing to fire them. You never want employees saying, ”If they weren’t family, they would have been fired by now.”
  5. Require family members to work in a different company first. Doing so gives them a chance to work for others and gain valuable outside experience they can bring to the business later.
  6. Put the right people in the right place. Provide formal training and opportunities for development in areas where they need it. Evaluate performance and do the best thing for your business and your family. Putting people in a position or role where they are not qualified could cause your business to implode.
  7. Know that it may not work out. As much as you’d like your children to join the family business and become generation leaders, it may not be the best option for them or your business.

Want more family business tips? Let’s talk about your family business and how we can help turn challenges into opportunities and guide you through the succession planning process.

Contact our office if you would like to meet with one of our family business advisors at 833-646-0311 or

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