|Phil Clemens, Chairman & CEO, Clemens Family Corporation|
spoke to High Center members on May 10
The value of solid leadership
Phil described the importance of solid leadership within the family. The existing generation needs to develop leaders in the next generation. Many businesses name a successor but don’t give much thought to the person’s ability to lead. Developing adequate leadership can allow a succession to go smoothly and equip the successor with necessary skills to maintain the family business. Through the course of leadership development for the next generation, a successor will hopefully become apparent to all and thus can have “buy in” from other family members. The “buy in” from the rest of the family can support and encourage the successor spurring them towards success within the family and the business.
The timing of transitions
|a slide from Phil's presentation|
Both generations involved in the handoff
The current generation has to establish what a smooth transition would look like for succession. According to Phil families essentially have one good shot at a transition. After that any attempts will be uncomfortable and could possibly cause more problems for the family or the business than if proper preparations were made at the outset. Honest and open conversation allows for all expectations to be understood and heard by all family members. True investment in the next generation of leaders will help ensure that a transition is being made smoothly and to the right candidate. The future of the family business rests with the next generation; it is critical for the current generation to be thinking about how to make a smooth handoff.