The Coach's Corner

Attitudes of 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations

February 14th, 2012 // Tom Doescher // 1 Comment

If the founder of a business is interested in making sure his life’s work continues for many generations down the line, he needs to focus on mentoring the next generation early on, in addition to creating successful products or services. (When I say “next generation,” I mean the next generation of owners and associates.) In my experience, many founders do not take the time to teach the next generation what I call “The essence of the business.” In fact, the next generation frequently has different attitudes and opinions about the business than the founder — and these differences need to be discussed and dealt with before younger family members are put in charge. This is a topic of extreme delicacy, and many businesses fail in the process of making a transition because the founder hasn’t been clear about his vision for the future. If conversations aren’t held about the founder’s expectations and values, and transition plans aren’t put in place while he is still able to coach and nurture younger family members, chances are those left behind won’t really understand the critical factors that have made the business successful — and they won’t care for the business the way the founder does, either. Do the key members of your next generation understand why customers buy your products or services? Do they care about each and every detail like you do? Have you started the conversation? If you haven’t, today is a good day to take that important step.

One Response

  1. jim jensen says:


    in a related way, I think that without a clear understanding of the mission and vision of an organization, and buy-in to it, it’s near impossible to find people who will “care about each and every detail.”

    I see that on my team all the time when I recruit someone from outside the organization. They may have a lot of talent, and they may be excited to be a part of my team. But at the end of the day, they usually don’t have the same buy-in to the mission and vision…and that translates into lack of preparation and communication. They may even be mystified by the level of detail I expect on my team, because to them it’s a much more casual proposition.

    The moral- without real buy-in to the mission and vision, success will be illusive. JIIM

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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