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.
The Ultimate Harvest
Sep 17, 2013
From Legacy Moment (09.13.2013).
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Like everything else in farming, multigenerational success is the result of planting the right seeds, nurturing an appreciation for farming and then guiding the next generation through a defined transition process. Your plan must contain provisions for the ownership transfer, leadership development, financial security and estate taxes. Beyond that, everything else is a measure of leadership. It all depends on the capabilities of people involved in the process.
Consider the operation:
- Is it recognized as a well-led, profitably managed and efficiently maintained enterprise?
- Do others in the industry emulate the practices employed in the operation?
- Do others imitate the methods used and adopt them as best practices?
For family members and loyal employees:
- Do employees, suppliers and third-party vendors speak admiringly of your operation and seek your opinions?
- Are your children and/or loyal employees considered leaders in their respective fields?
- Do they command the respect and admiration of industry peers?
- Are they ready, willing and able to assume more prominent roles in the operation?
- And, most importantly, do you abide their leadership skills and respect their abilities?
As the owner:
- Do you demonstrate a 'leadership by example' that others respect, admire and willingly follow?
- Are you gradually yielding control while maintaining the communication necessary to guide decisions and mentor others?
Leadership is a multifaceted pursuit of better. It's a quest for constant improvement. With the right leadership, anything is possible. Without it, nothing is.
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