Interesting insight from Jon Ward into the creation of leadership in family firms and inspiring the leadership of the next generation. Succession planning is an ongoing process and one that is crucial in the evolution of the business through the creation of the leaders of tomorrow.
Leadership is an elusive skill — one that many businesses spend a lot of time and energy trying to develop. It is also a critical function that can determine a business’ ability to survive and thrive. This is particularly true for family businesses, the dynamics of which create a unique mix of challenges and opportunities. In a 2003 interview, family business guru and co-founder of The Family Business Consulting Group, John Ward, described leadership in family businesses: “It’s multi-faceted and it’s often all mixed up. It can take strange forms as structures are often invented to help the family stay in control — such as joint leaders or collaborative teams. Sometimes different balances of power are used to make it work. It’s also very public — heirs are known to all from birth.“