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Leave a Legacy

RSS By: Kevin Spafford, Legacy Project

Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project.  He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.

Which Way Do You Approach Succession Planning?

Sep 05, 2012

Rovey FamilyFrom Legacy Moment (08/31/2012).
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Not mine, theirs or yours: three dissimilar ways of approaching the succession planning process. Which way do you see it?
 
An attitude of "not mine" implies that you assume or hope someone else will control the outcome. Are you sitting by anticipating the succession planning outcome will align with your goals? If you are, is it any surprise when it doesn't turn out in your favor? If it's "not mine," whose is it?
 
Is it "their" responsibility? If it is, you can't affect the outcome. This approach makes you powerless and subject to the decisions of others. As a participant, you've basically released yourself of any responsibility and abandoned all control. If that's the case, you can't expect much and certainly shouldn't be surprised when the outcome is not the result you would have chosen.
 
If you approach the succession planning process as "your" responsibility, you can make a difference. You control the agenda, affect the decisions and react to the actions of others from a position of strength. Owning a problem isn't easy. That's why only the strong survive and the weak move on. When it's yours, you might not always win, but you'll be stronger for the challenge and better prepared to succeed.
 
So, rather than wonder whose responsibility it is, step forward and proclaim it's yours. Then do whatever it takes to make sure a succession plan is written and diligently executed.
News & Resources for You:

Make a virtual visit to three farming operations that remain successful because one or more family members stepped forward and said, "It's my responsibility to make a difference."
 

 

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Photo courtesy of the Rovey Family
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