Different leadership styles are appropriate for different stages of a company. Too often, first generation family business leaders seek clones of themselves without considering what the company needs going forward. Leaders should be able to take the company where it needs to go.
Start by answering the following questions:
1. Where’s the company going in the next five to 10 years?
2. What kind of a leader can take us there?
3. What are the important skill sets of that leader?
4. Who in the next generation has those skills?
5. If we’re objective, is the best leader for the company in the family or do we need to look outside the family?
6. What’s our road map for the succession process?
Jane Hilburt-Davis Author, Consulting to Family Businesses Founding Principal, Key Resources Cambridge, Mass.