I’ve always resisted the term “consultant.” Maybe because the old joke pops into my mind that a consultant is the person who removes the watch from your wrist and tells you the time. When I had to pick a title for myself 30 years ago, I gravitated away from consultant and chose Strategist & Transition Guide. Now that The Transition Strategists has expanded, I share that title with all our business succession consultants.
You Drive. We support.
One of the principles we use in our work is: Owners are in charge of their transition journeys. As Guides, we don’t have a vested interest in whether you sell to a third party, give equity to your children, or sell to employees. You pick your destination, your timetable, and your successor. We help you map the route that will take you where you want to go and arrive when you want get there. Our job is to give you the benefit of our experience by helping you set the points on your compass, see and evaluate all of your options, envision your future, anticipate obstacles, facilitate the tough conversations, if necessary, and help you transition from leader to teacher/mentor.
You Set the Points on Your Compass
In a previous article, we described the six points on every owner’s Transition Compass: Why, What, Who, When, How Much and How. Your answers to these questions about your transition point you in the direction you want to go. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers to all six questions. Most owners don’t when they begin to create their succession plans.
As Guides, we help you think creatively about how you might answer all six questions. We share with you our proven processes and tools that other owners have used to achieve success and the insights we’ve gained from working with owners in similar situations.
Cross-Generational Legacy Planning
Another one of our transition principles is that no transition is perfect. Rather than perfection, our goal is to meet an owner’s most important goals while keeping all their important relationships healthy. The stakes are high in every transition but when owners consider family members in the next generation as successors, the stakes increase exponentially. Owner and successor may never speak to each other after a transition to a non-family member fails. When transitions between generations fail, however, at best family ties weaken; often they are irretrievably broken.
Our Guides, Elizabeth Ledoux, Deborah Davis, and Marcy McNeal have helped many families navigate high-risk cross-generational business transitions. They are creative thinkers and strategists by nature and excellent communicators by training and experience. If you’d like to talk to any of our Guides as you consider how you will one day put your company in the hands of a successor and begin the next phase of your life, let’s talk. We’re great listeners, we love to share our insights, and we promise that we’ll never use your watch to tell you the time.
Elizabeth Ledoux is a co-author of the award-winning It’s A Journey: The MUST-HAVE Roadmap to Successful Succession Planning, as well as Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Flight and Understanding the Growth of the Entrepreneur. She frequently speaks to organizations and business owners about challenges and opportunities in private and family business transitions, business and individual growth, and the business succession journey.
She serves as Chair for TIGER 21 in Denver, Colorado and was Chair for 14 years of the Women Presidents’ Organization’s Denver chapter.