The third stage of the four transitional business stages, which I describe in my book, The Quiet Millionaire, is the Thunder stage, when higher levels of growth occur. This requires the business owner to focus more on higher level decision-making and intelligently leveraging and leading a growing number of managers and employees. In other words, spending more time working on the overall business and less time working in the business.
One of my biggest challenges during this stage was to not micromanage and begin to delegate away many of my decision-making responsibilities, while at the same time stay on top of what’s happening. I had to learn how to effectively inspire and lead others, and to structure the right balance between empowerment and accountability. My success in growing the business going forward depended upon me using the leverage of people and technology correctly, and it was not easy for me to let go of many of my daily operating responsibilities.
My business transitioning was made even more difficult when I determined a need to replace certain senior members of my management team who I discovered were not right for completing my planning for transitioning during the Plunder stage, the fourth stage which I was preparing for. I realized and appreciated how critical it is to plan early, years in advance of leaving the business, in order to have the right and qualified people in place for me to eventually exit my business successfully at the right time.
If you don’t plan early enough to have the business operate without your presence, it’s a certainty that you won’t receive the maximum amount of your hard-earned internal equity value when you either voluntarily or involuntarily depart the business. Although I started planning early for how the company would function nicely without me, I do regret the consequences of not having assembled sooner than later the best team of professional advisors, qualified and prepared to help guide my exiting the business.
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