With baby boomers starting to retire in leaps and bounds, professional services firms are desperately seeking their predecessors to lead their firms. Here are some of the most common mis-perceptions and limiting beliefs that I think should be re-considered:
5 MAJOR Mis-Steps In Succession Planning
1. Your next Managing Partner is your best business developer
2. Your next Managing Partner should be over 50 years old
3. Your next Managing Partner should be a professional like the rest of you
4. Your next Managing Partner should still service a decent-sized book of business
5. Your next Managing Partner has to be selected from your current pool of professionals
The MP of your firm needs the skill set – as well as the time – to serve your firm shareholders and professionals in a way that offers them the attention they deserve. If they’re out there selling all the time or handling “A” clients, it doesn’t leave much time for the rest. If the MP selected is the “next in line” (which I see happening a lot), you’re looking a short reign, without consistency or the time to fully implement new strategies before they retire as well. Ideally, you are asking the second-tiered generation of professionals for those who are interested in becoming a leader in the firm so training and coaching can start now…but if you don’t have that luxury of time (and many don’t) don’t be afraid to look elsewhere (an up and coming professional at a firm elsewhere that might be partner-heavy) or a firm administrator non-accredited professional “outside” your industry.
Be innovative and think outside the box – release yourself from long-standing unnecessary agreements that dictate what you can and cannot do – the world is your oyster – break the rules and THRIVE!