Leave a Legacy
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.
It Always Comes Down to Leadership
Jun 04, 2014
From Legacy Moment (05.30.2014).
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Implementing a succession plan requires attention to and respect for developing leadership. It may be the single biggest challenge in the planning process. This may sound trite, but after all the legal work is complete, the buy/sell agreements are in place, the life insurance is paid for and the teams of advisors are back at their respective offices, someone still has to run the operation. Right now that obligation is yours, the controlling generation. Up next are your sons, daughters, managers and key employees.
Are they prepared to lead?
Use the questions below to check your operation's readiness.
- The next generation is accountable for specific responsibilities. (yes/no)
- The next generation is encouraged to promote new techniques, systems and methods. (yes/no)
- The current generation will allow the next generation to stumble (provided it does not unduly compromise the financial integrity of the operation). (yes/no)
- Management structure allows for expansion because each person is responsible for specific areas of focus. (yes/no)
- The next generation is encouraged to develop mentor/protégé relationships with industry leaders, alliance partners and/or educators. (yes/no)
- A leader's primary responsibility is to develop qualified successor candidates. (yes/no)
- Leadership must be motivated by personal desire. (yes/no)
- Transparency describes the management style of the operation; every employee is informed and enlightened about budgets, expenses, profits, etc. (yes/no)
- Leadership is the key to long-term operational growth and development. (yes/no)
- Outside education, workshops and seminars may be a wise investment for leadership development. (yes/no)
Do you have a realistic expectation regarding business preparedness? If you responded above with a majority of yes answers, the operation may experience some significant breakthroughs and continual progress in the quest for a lasting legacy.
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Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.