I was recently asked this question by the owner of a family business with four sons working in the firm: “How do I choose which one will run the business?”
Wow! There are so many ways to answer this question. Family business succession can be complicated. My first response was to ask, “Who wants to?” To which the owner did not know the answer. So that is a good place to start; however, there is more running the family business than just who wants to.
When deciding who should be the next generation CEO and who should play supporting roles, let’s take a look at a few of the tough decisions at play here.
The owner may be asking several questions: Who can run the business? Who wants to? Do we have the talent? Do we expect that they will want to?