A family firm’s Achilles heel is the succession process; the survival of the business depends not only on the successful transition of leadership, but on the ability of the next generation leader to manage and grow the enterprise. But how do you know if you possess the right qualities to succeed?
Check for these 5 signs and find out if you have what it takes to be the next generation leader of your family business:
1. You are creative and technologically well versed.
The first generation of the business plays a key role in establishing the business by increasing market share and securing loyal clients. The next generation must build on this by bringing creativity and diversity to the services or products that the company offers. In this fast-paced and globalised world, advances in technology and exposure to international competition means that there are no guarantees that the old ways of doing business will stand. Your creativity and technological savvy is crucial in maintaining the upper hand, and their application must be shrewd in order to add high-tech solutions to the business or enter other sectors and markets.
2. You are decisive and embrace new directions.
Speed is essential not only in maintaining the business across the generations, but for it to gain momentum. Often, decisions must be made on the spot; you understand the challenges and opportunities, and you act without hesitation. In the face of market competition, ineffective decision making is often the #1 reason why family business are forced out of business or have to sell out.
3. You are a global thinker.
You truly understand different cultures because you have travelled and interacted with people around the globe. Add to this the interconnectivity given to your generation through social media, and allowing a stereotype-free global understanding can be applied to great advantage when making business decisions in the pursuit of growing your family business.
4. You keep work life and personal life separate.
In an ever-connected world when anyone is reachable at any time with a simple text or call, keeping the business out of your personal and family lives can be a daunting challenge. In the founding generation, business leaders usually bestow their undivided attention to erecting their enterprise. As a next generation leader, you can have it all if you are well organised and put in place the institutional and mental framework to keep the business from affecting family life.
5. You are a good communicator.
Often times, the younger generation finds themselves frustrated because they understand what has happened in the past and have ambitious visions for the future, but they have difficulty bridging the divide between these two states. They understand how much faster things can be done but it is tremendously difficult to get the older generation on board. The more realistically and accurately you are able to present the vision for the future by connecting the vision to the current state of things, the more inclined the older generation will be to truly consider that option and respect you for the next generation leader you are.
This article was originally published on Linkedin by Tharawat Magazine Senior Editor James Lee.