Many founding owners and leaders neglect to plan for the time when they transition ownership to the next generation. Thoughtful advance planning is key to the survival and success of the firm in the second generation and beyond.
The founding principal and sole owner had reached his 60s and realized that he was indispensable, both in getting work for the firm and leading it. The market recognized him as the face and voice of the company; he was a pillar of the community and had developed significant relationships and a strong network. Unfortunately, you can’t just hand that over to the new leaders.
The emerging leaders in the firm had been identified, but no work had been done to analyze their strengths, their capabilities, or their concerns, in order to help them assume appropriate roles. The owner had kept a tight rein on operations and was finding it hard to let go and delegate. In addition, some bad habits had developed over the practice’s 30-year history that needed to be undone.