Leave a Legacy
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.
Allowing Emotion to Dictate Business Decisions
Aug 26, 2008
Continuing our look at the 12 most common mistakes agribusiness owners repeat, #4 examines how preconceived ideas may impede sound judgment.
(Click here to review previous posts)
They enthusiastically participated in the succession planning consultation. For this middle-aged couple it was a first visit. We discussed their succession intentions and talked about the family legacy. We talked about the future and their two children. Sarah, now 27, had attended a very reputable Ag school, graduated with honors and was almost to her fifth anniversary working full-time in the family operation. Craig, their 23 year old son, was a different story.
He was obviously the apple of Dad's eye, football hero in high school, a 4-H all-star, currently attending community college and working 'sometimes' on the family farm. Though Craig didn't show an apparent interest in the business side of things, his dad assured me, "He's young. You knkow how boys are - he'll come around. He wants to do this. Besides, he's always talked about running the place."
Parents and their children, families and emotion, are the purpose of succession planning; they're also the reason most families need objective assistance. Succession planning is simply about positioning the farm and preparing the family for generational transition. But the blessings of emotion to prompt action can be a curse of misapplied decision. >>