You are previewing Success and Succession: Unlocking Value, Power, and Potential in the Professional Services and Advisory Space.
O'Reilly logo
Success and Succession: Unlocking Value, Power, and Potential in the Professional Services and Advisory Space

Book Description

An insightful look at leadership transition from the successor's perspective

Success and Succession examines the leadership transition process from the successor's point of view, and outlines the considerations and strategies that lead to a better future for the business. With a focus on practical planning and execution, this insightful guide provides insight into the strategies that smooth the transition and help the new leadership make better business decisions. You'll learn when and how to start planning, who you need on your team, and the obstacles you should anticipate along the way. You'll learn to navigate the uncertainty the process entails, and how to identify opportunities for reciprocal understanding and adopt workable approaches for successful resolution of a multitude of transition issues. Interviews with those at various stages of transition highlight the real-world application of these ideas, and give you an inside look at what worked, what didn't, and what they wish they had thought of.

The transition of leadership in an independent, non-public professional service business can be emotional and difficult for everyone. This book gives you a framework for smoothing the process and driving the best possible future of the business.

  • Consider the complexities of succession and transition

  • Balance conflicting dynamics of outgoing and incoming leadership

  • Plan for operational, financial, and emotional obstacles

  • Develop and execute a winning strategy for long term success

  • The transition from founder to successor is far from an academic exercise, and is not linear. Answers are hard to find, and the ebb and flow of the process requires patience, creativity, and willingness to try again. Success and Succession provides a unique strategy for success, from the perspective of incoming leadership.

    Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright
    3. Dedication
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. Introduction
    6. Section I: Operational Challenges … and Solutions
      1. Chapter 1: The Founder as the Sun
        1. The Evolution of a Founder-Centric Firm
        2. Is My Firm Founder-Centric?
        3. Awareness
        4. “The Painters”
      2. Chapter 2: Replacing the Sun: A New Solar System
        1. What Road Do You Choose?
        2. Committing to the Road Less Traveled
        3. Assessing the Client Experience
        4. Welcome to McDonald's: May I Take Your Order?
        5. Human Capital Framework
        6. Improvement Matrix
      3. Chapter 3: Ordering Off the Menu
        1. Choices Have Consequences
        2. The Easiest One
        3. The Great “Current Income” Debate
        4. Equity versus “Milking”
        5. What Does a Successor Want off the Menu
        6. Not Everyone Is William Wallace
      4. Chapter 4: Setting a Vision, Together
        1. STEP 1: Can We Work Together?
        2. Step 2: Setting a Vision
    7. Section II: Financial Challenges … and Solutions
      1. Chapter 5: It's Always About the Money
        1. An Ironic Twist
        2. Management versus Equity
        3. Value and Control
        4. Distribution of Value as a First Step
        5. The Founder's Financial Dilemma
        6. The Successor's Financial Dilemma
        7. Building for an Exit Doesn't Maximize Value
        8. Hope Is Not a Strategy
        9. The Great Risk Divide
      2. Chapter 6: Splitting the Pies: Defining What Is Enough
        1. Only One Thing Really Matters
        2. Four Big Questions
        3. Defining an Exit Date
        4. Successor Concurrence
        5. Non–Operator Owners
        6. Mandatory Sales/Retirement
        7. The Pie-Slicing Exercise
        8. Slicing the Equity
        9. Slicing Up the Cash
        10. Avoid the Path to Neutral
        11. Defining What's Enough—a Real Case
        12. What a Successor Should Ask For
      3. Chapter 7: Let's Make a Deal
        1. Discounting Is the Name of the Game
        2. External Capital
        3. Lessons from Other Professional Services Businesses
        4. Today's Landscape
        5. It May Be Time to Consider a Sale or Merger
        6. What Drives Value?
        7. Is the Firm Still Just the Founder?
        8. Is Your Firm Strategic?
        9. Successor Considerations in a Merger or Acquisition
        10. Been There; Done That
        11. Why Deals Don't Get Done—or Shouldn't
    8. Section III: Emotional Challenges … and Solutions
      1. Chapter 8: It's Not Just an Office
        1. Know Your Personality
        2. The Office
        3. Successor Surprises
        4. The Fear of Being Wrong
        5. Successors Don't Want to Admit Being Scared
        6. It's Not a Light Switch
        7. The Slow-Motion Effect
        8. An Unfair Expectation: Successor as Advisor
        9. Progress, Not Perfection
      2. Chapter 9: Breaking Inertia
        1. Do We Have an Inertia Problem?
        2. The Four Choices
        3. Is Doing Nothing a Risk?
        4. How Does This Process Start?
        5. Can the Successor Start the Process?
        6. The Homework Assignment
        7. Successors Should Ask Hard Internal Questions
        8. Going All In
        9. Showing Progress
        10. Starting in the Future
        11. What's Next?
      3. Chapter 10: Derailed
        1. The Fear of Failure—Again
        2. Founderitis
        3. Life After the CEO Job
        4. Term Limits or Planned Rotation of Roles
        5. Optimism Bias
        6. Reality Distortion Field
        7. Hitting the Pause Button
        8. Necessary Endings
      4. Chapter 11: Building a Legacy
        1. What's in a Name?
        2. What's Your Title?
        3. Memorials
        4. The Finest Legacy
    9. Some Final Words
    10. Bibliography
    11. Supplemental Material
      1. Client Touchpoint Exercise
      2. Client Touchpoint Exercise
      3. Human Capital Framework
      4. Human Capital Framework
      5. Role Transition Matrix
      6. Role Transition Matrix
      7. Pie-Splitting Exercise
      8. Pie Splitting Exercise
    12. Interviewee Biographies
    13. About the Authors
    14. Index
    15. End User License Agreement