Jumpstart Your Succession Planning with a Power Pause

Jumpstart Your Succession Planning with a Power Pause

It’s not uncommon for business owners to focus on strategic planning in the 4th quarter of the year. In my experience, what is not common, is meaningful time invested in deeper reflection.  If planning for and/or executing a succession plan, internal or M&A, is a priority for you in 2023, I believe this kind of reflection is essential.  December is an ideal time to slow down and do just that—the power pause!

You may be thinking, “We have our strategic planning process nailed and it’s always worked for us” or “Who has time for self-reflection!”

Here’s the challenge with this thinking: Attachment to status quo thinking and approaches can create a blind spot getting in the way of recognizing what your partners, team, and the business need from you now as a leader.  Taking time to really reflect is a non-negotiable if your succession plan requires commitment and buy-in from your business partners and key team members.

Successful succession outcomes require entrepreneurial business owners to become leaders.  This happens long before the execution of a transfer of ownership… and it’s not about being “boss.”

What’s needed is a Leadershift   

Something I see a lot in my work with clients, is big-hearted, entrepreneurial professionals who are caught in a fast-moving current of “urgent and important” activities.  They often love the work and yet recognize that they struggle with shifting their prioritization to allow time for deeper vision work and engaging with key team members to align around a compelling shared vision for the future.


I call this shift to intentionally prioritizing where you invest your time a leadershift.

Shifting from 100% focus on your SOP (standard operating procedures) to time allocated to deeper reflection, may seem out of the question.  Yet, that’s exactly what’s needed so that you:

  1. Get clear on your truest aspirations for your business now AND plans for succession
  2. Consider what’s “in it” for your team and potential successors—your “stakeholders
  3. Engage in productive conversations with these stakeholders to develop a mutually rewarding vision of success.

In this recent post I shared how a lack of communication gets in the way of firm owners designing AND executing a plan for succession.

Embracing leadershift is the secret to setting yourself apart from other firms in a very competitive market for talented, caring professionals.  At its core is a commitment to “Win-Win” with each of your stakeholders: partners, successors, and team members.

#1 Pitfall: addicted to urgent

Webster’s dictionary defines pitfall as: a hidden or unsuspected danger or difficulty.

Some readers might think “addicted” is too strong of a word.  In my experience, it’s pretty accurate.

Take a moment to consider what your immediate reaction was to the idea of carving out time for self-reflection.   As the definition spells out it’s a hidden difficulty.  Something we’re not always consciously aware of.  Your feelings (yes, I said feelings) are a perfect indicator for whether you too are trapped in the fast-moving current of doing.

Did you feel defensive, anxious, worried, frustrated, helpless?

All these feelings and your thoughts about what’s important are normal.

However, will surrendering to the status quo now, allow you to build a sustainable, legacy business and achieve the financial return on your business you truly desire?

Achieving your MOST desired results requires investing in the time, energy and activities—including self-reflection—that are mile markers on the journey to a successful succession experience

Will you accept the challenge to make the time for self-reflection? 

Imagine what else is possible when you and your team are excited and engaged in a “win-win” vision for a compelling future.

I’d love to learn more about your aspirations for your business and legacy.

Let’s Connect!

Click here to download our complimentary report– “5 Questions Business Owners Never Ask and Should, to Create a Succession Plan that Works ”