Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So You're Getting Older ...

... And it's time to start considering the role of your kids in the company's future. Can you count on them to run it once you retire? Do they even have an interest in being a grower? A retailer? How about CEO?

More importantly, do they have the skills to be CEO?

Those who attended an interactive discussion titled "Parents of the Kids -- Family Business" mostly agreed that passion, people skills, horticultural and business management and education were the qualities their kids need to carry to be CEO. Leadership was high on the lists of many attendees, too, but leadership to your kids might have a completely different meaning than it does to you.

"Your definition of leadership is different than my definition of leadership," says William McCurry, who led the discussion with Gary Hudson. "Different generations have a different meaning of these words.

"These words can come packed with emotion or misperceptions."

One suggestion McCurry offers parents is to involve their kids in the business until they've completed their formal education. Then, force them to earn a job on their own merits, and if they decide to return to the family business after a couple of years, welcome them back.

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