Daddy’s Business

Mar 20th, 2014 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

Jack SchrockI don’t know what the stats are but I do know that it is difficult for one generation to follow another in the family business. I have seen many young towers grow up to take over and successfully run the family business. But I’ve also seen others who could not. And I think it all probably comes down to the ongoing relationship between parent and child. If dad wants to do all the thinking then junior will invariably look to dad for direction. However, when dad leaves, who does junior turn to for guidance? When and how does junior learn to fly on his own?

I’m not talking about driving wreckers here. I’m talking about running a business with all the associated business decisions to make, often on a daily basis. If junior hasn’t been trained and educated to handle that important element, he or she will be starting all over on a trial and error basis, which can trash a long established business and I’ve seen several end this way.

I knew a tower who micromanaged everything — and I mean everything. He gladly invited his children into the family business, but gave them instruction as children because they were always his “children.” Only problem — that habit continued long after the children became capable adults. Not only does a child not learn how to make decisions on his/her own, there is even a more important consequence: By never having a say in anything, the next generation doesn’t ever acquire any sense of “ownership” in the business, which can be disastrous when dad leaves.

I know of another tower who attended a training seminar on the transition of a family business and it proved successful for all concerned.

Something to think about — and plan for.