In previous posts we have talked about the succession of values, knowledge, relationships and networks. Each of these is laying the groundwork for next generation leaders by helping them learn about business and more importantly about OUR business. The next stage takes us into the next quadrant of the learning phases – management of the family business.

A strong successor development programme provides the best chance of maximising the potential of the next generation talent pool for leadership selection. It can assure the business of management depth and breadth into the future. It also provides the family the best chances of retaining talented members of the next generation. And it can also support the development and retention of important non family managers as the business grows.

In family businesses, the same person often serves as leader and manager of many functions. But oftentimes, he or she fails to step back and work on the business (i.e. leadership) vs. work in the business (i.e. management). While the transition to leadership needs to be marked by the ability of aspirants to move from a focus on the micro dimensions of managing to more macro considerations of where the firm as a whole is headed it is imperative that aspiring successors can demonstrate their ability to manage others to achieve these desired outcomes before being considered for higher (leadership) office. Simply put, management is getting things done through other people. This capability highlights the prior proficiency of self-management on the grounds that it is difficult to manage others if one cannot manage oneself. In short, managers assure that proper steps are taken to achieve desired outcomes within the constraints of allocated resources.