Yes, I have seen a few successors of rural properties who have not had a passion for the land, and succeeded out of a sense of duty (due to expectations, emotional ties to the family heritage, etc).
Fortunately, later in life I have seen some of these have a realisation (often due to a personal crisis) which has led them to quit the farm, and follow their passion.
WHEN IS THE TIME RIGHT?
Let us now look at some biological aspects of succession planning.
I am a biodynamic practitioner, and follow some of the teachings of Rudolph Steiner.
One of his theories is that as human beings, our life progresses in “blocks” of seven years.
Now nine cycles of seven brings us to sixty-three.
If you study numerology, there’s significance in the nines.
Nine is completion. So, nine lots of seven brings us to sixty-three. Add six and three and you have nine. Time, my friends, for completion.
Now between sixty-three and seventy, we are supposed to hand over all that we “do” to someone younger.
The price we pay for not acting on this, is that we can get so set in our ways that no one wants to work with us.
This then drives off younger family members, employees and friends who see no way to advance in the business.
Maybe you haven’t yet come across this age-based / numerology-based idea in your succession planning workshops or readings.
I feel it is a very important “missing link”.
Now before you throw a hiss fit, and start on about how you are still fit, and active, and want to be involved in the business for many years to come, I will throw you a lifeline.
NOT NECESSARILY ALL OR NOTHING
You can begin to hand over the running of the business, the financial, and physical management, while transitioning into a role of mentor, advisor, supporter, and your services, and wisdom will be much appreciated.
I have done this, and can vouch for the effectiveness of the strategy.
So successful has it been for me that I am about to launch into phase two, and transition my new farm (bought at sixty-three) into a new form of ownership, where I become a minor shareholder, and the farming is done by young people who have a passion to farm, however lack the capital to buy land.
Here are a few questions that might help you to get thinking about your own succession plan.
- What about sharing your plan?
- How have you arrived/will you arrive at your succession plan?
- Will you meet with all stakeholders?
- Will your successors be having input into the shape/structure of your plan?
- Who will be your successor/s?
- Will it be family, a friend, an employee, or other?
- Are all involved filled with joy about the plan?
- Do you have any specific questions that you’d like to see answered in this blog?