The Top Six Reasons Contractors Fail to do Succession Planning

If it is true that organizational succession is the ultimate test of leadership, why do so many contractors aver? Why do they kick the can down the road when they know, intellectually at least, that the time is coming when every single one of us can no longer sustain superstardom and must assume new, different roles at work – and, eventually, in life?

Please tune in this week as Wayne identifies six reasons why contractors rationalize kicking the can forward. What do you think? What reasons did he leave off this list? What have you observed over the course of your construction career? Please share with us in the comments.

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  1. ….and the 7th reason is contractors think they’re going to live forever.

  2. How do you know when its time to start? Is there an age? I know every situation is different, but when is ideal time to start? 5 , 10 or 15 years before you want to exit? Or is it not about your age or exit date, as it just needs to be a part of every business no matter how long the business has been around or how old the owner is!

    • There is a Japanese (I think) saying, Paul… Q: When is the best time to plant a tree? A: Twenty years ago. Q: When is the second best time? A: Right now.

      Give yourself 10 years before retirement; that’s plenty of runway. One consideration is WHEN are you going to “retire?” A change in health, family health, or other unforeseen matters can accelerate that date considerably.

  3. Wayne, your presentation skills have improved over the years, nice work. As far as succession planning is concerned, I think the misnomer some have about succeeding themselves is to replace themselves with one person who can do what you do. The approach we are taking is to define the skill sets of the individual being succeeded and either doling out those responsibilities to others or to hire talent that can backfill the missing skill sets.

    • Excellent plan, Don. I’ve always said that most senior execs who built their companies from scratch cannot be replaced by just one “clone.”

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