Why Firm Culture Matters for a Successful Succession

Is monetizing your business the key to getting what really matters to you? 

If the answer is yes, then here’s the follow-up:  how important is the culture of your firm to your prospects, either for an internal sale or for a third- party sale and transition?

Winning for everybody should be the goal

There are very real risks to the founder who makes assumptions about the marketability of their business based on the contributions — including fee revenue — of key team members. These risks range from poor customer service delivered by disgruntled employees to untimely and damaging loss of clients and revenue when a key contributor jumps ship. 

This kind of damage affects the full range of your plans for your firm, whether your vision includes an eventual sale and internal succession or whether you’re intending to just ride it out on a steady flow of cash.

That’s why it’s so important to account for everybody in your succession plan: to ensure that you have a firm culture that will support your vision.

You win when your team wins.

A team’s culture starts with its leader

When it comes to cultivating and maintaining a culture that attracts and retains enthusiastic professionals, emotional intelligence matters. When you lead with high emotional intelligence, you are both self-aware and “socially” aware in how you manage relationships with others.

Emotionally intelligent leaders relate to their team, using skills such as listening, acknowledging, validating, and visioning to build strong relationships and create buy-in.  These behaviors encourage team members to cultivate an owner’s mindset and make them feel included in the process.

When members of your team experience a sense of being valued, both as people and for the contributions they make to you and your clients, —culture changes

And when your culture is strong, the range of possibilities open to you expands.

Luckily, it’s never too late to shift your firm’s culture — starting at the top!

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