The Next Generation: A Great Son Doesn't Always Make a Great Boss

A Reprise of the Windman

Very few things in this world are as satisfying as starting a business from scratch and making it grow with hard work and dedication. There are many large companies that started out in garages, small apartments or even the corner of a busy city street. In any case, all business owners that started from the bottom will eventually face the inevitable concern of figuring out who they will pass the torch to. Company presidents who face this dilemma are usually drawn to the idea of transitioning their ownership position to one of their children. After all, these are the people they often feel that they can trust the most. They grew up with the values you taught them and they are decent human beings and great sons and daughters, but maybe they don’t really have what it takes to run the business that took you so much effort over so many years.

There is a very common problem with a strong business that is passed to the next generation of the family. It’s been said that the first generation works extremely hard and barely enjoys the perks. The second generation works just hard enough to keep things running, but they enjoy all the benefits of their successful business. The third generation has everything they ever wanted, but they didn’t put in the same effort for it.

This risk can be minimized if you expect them to learn and earn what they are going to get. Make them work hard, do not give them all the advantages and perks without making them get a taste of hard work and 12 hour days of stress and tension. If you want things to run properly when you give away the power of your company to your sons or daughters, make sure they appreciate what you are giving to them.