From the August issue of Drovers CattleNetwork and part two of the ranch succession-planning series: Define compensation and responsibilities.
There is a lot to be gained by the next generation working for someone else before they return to the family operation, says Dave Specht, founder of Advising Generations LLC.
“A lot of people assume the easiest career path is to just go home to the family operation. It’s not the easiest,” he warns.
There are a lot of social factors that need to be thought about by all the family-business stakeholders prior to the younger generation making an entrance. These can range from expectations of social behavior in regard to partying and the impact on the family’s reputation, to more mature matters, such as the desire to find a partner with which to start a family.
However, the biggest benefit for not returning home immediately is coming home with a more professionally developed attitude, new connections and new perspective on how to look at situations.
“The benefits are two-fold,” Specht explains. “One, the incoming generation needs to have the confidence that they can make a living without their family writing them a check. Second, it allows both generations to assess the younger generation’s worth.”
According to Specht, it is not uncommon for those who have only worked on the family operation to sometimes wonder what their value is to the outside world and how else they could use their talents. Along with the younger generation building confidence, it also allows the older generation to watch them progress and excel — potentially opening their eyes to seeing them as talent and value, not just a son or daughter.
“Eventually, when or if the younger generation decides to come back, they will know what their value is and what to expect,” Specht says. “And in the long run, if they have to make sacrifices to return home to the family operation, they will be much happier doing so if they know what other options they had for their futures.”
Be sure to read Part two of the ranch succession planning series, "Define compensation and responsibilities," in the August 2015 issue of Drovers CattleNetwork.