7. It is from assuming leadership that others will follow you as well as learn, participate, and achieve. If you don’t accept the responsibilities of leadership, you can never be expected to develop a successor, let alone a successful business.
8. It is as important for you to earn the confidence and acceptance of the workers under your command. Not assuming responsibilities for leadership will be met with resentment, confusion, and conflict, not only from the successor, but from other workers as well.
9. You must know the business of the business. You must have a good work ethic. You must lead people—never manage them. You may not be more academically qualified than your successor, but that does not mean they know what you do. You must teach them what you know. They cannot learn it anywhere else.
10. You set the work ethic of the organization. If you do not work hard, you cannot make them work hard. If you lie, cheat, and steal, they will lie, cheat, and steal. It is up to you to insist that the successor adopts and learns your work ethic that has made your business successful. If the successor refuses, get another successor.
11. The successor must have specific technical knowledge gained by serving in various jobs in the business. In doing these jobs, the successor has no more authority than anyone else. It is through the development of the technical competence of the organization that the successor is best prepared to lead. It is your duty to see that the successor is so trained.
12. It is the successor’s job to accommodate you; it is not your job to please the successor. However, it is not your right to insist that the successor do what he is unwilling to do. It is your right to choose another successor if that should happen. And it is not your right to retire in place.
So there they are—12 concepts for you, the predecessor, to consider. I don’t think they can be ignored without adverse consequence.
Tom Crouser is principal of Crouser & Associates, Inc., 4710 Chimney Drive, Charleston, WV 25302, www.crouser.com or call 304-965-7100. He works with businesses undergoing an internal transition of ownership, either among family members or those working in the business, and welcomes your inquiries. Message him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow all of his posts at www.tomcrouser.com.