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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.

Start Early in Nurturing the Right Attitudes

Sep 13, 2011

iStock Red EquipmentFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (09/09/2011)
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During the “Leave a Legacy TV” guest appearance of Dr. Ed Hoover, we discussed a family’s readiness to begin the succession planning process. In the episode, he said, “Without readiness, all the planning in the world will fail.”

In the following piece, Dr. Hoover writes about the importance of stewardship. “The key to making a succession plan work is to start early in nurturing the right attitudes and implementing the necessary structures to support them,” he says. “The right attitudes start with the owning family viewing themselves more as stewards than as proprietors.”

Dr. Hoover’s Principles of Stewardship:

  • Ownership is not a right but a privilege.
  • My business depends on me looking after its best interest.That also means acknowledging when I am part of the problem.
  • Every day is a new opportunity for me to do something good for my business. Whether or not it happens is up to me.
  • I cannot let discomfort and fear, my own or others', cause me to avoid facing and resolving difficult family and business problems.
  • To keep my business healthy, I must remain healthy, too, through ongoing personal development in mind, body and spirit.
  • As both an owner and employee, I will not knowingly abuse the privilege of business ownership, nor jeopardize the well-being of the whole for the benefit of any one individual, myself or someone else.

    Edwin A. Hoover, Ph.D., is a consultant and mentor for families managing businesses and wealth. He and spouse Colette Lombard Hoover are co-authors of Getting Along in Family Business: The Relationship Intelligence Handbook, New York: Routledge, 1999.


News & Resources for You:

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