I am an expert in relationships in the work place. I’ve worked in my family’s business. My Dad had a construction business when I was growing up. I’ve partnered with my husband and a couple of friends to build a business that we then sold to a national company. I built an outpatient therapy caseload and am building a coaching practice. I have consulted with others who have built partnerships and businesses. I’ve been married 33 years and have two amazing daughters. I know relationships.
But, we all have relationships, don’t we? We all have ups and downs. Let’s see a show of hands for those who have faced challenges in partnerships, family, customers, clients, marriages, and friendships? As a business owner, my question for you is, what did you bring to that challenge? How did you contribute to it? How was it resolved? In hindsight, were there things you know now, that if you knew then, would have impacted your behavior?
There are challenges in every M&A transaction, too. A lot of those challenges surround the relationships between the owner, advisors, employees, family, the management team, and the prospective buyers. Not every owner is prepared to navigate those relationship challenges. As an owner, you can equip yourself to emerge from the process with your integrity, and dignity, intact. That is what I’d like to help you avoid- the REGRET. Deal Doomers are things you can avoid, IF you know to look for them.
One of my clients, let’s call him Bob, had a leadership approach that was very much command and control. (HINT: This is a deal doomer!) It had served him well in getting to his current bottom line. However, he did not believe that buyers would pay LESS for the business because HE was the system, the process, the product and the decision maker.
Bob had surrounded himself with minions- not empowered team members who carried out the mission of the company and communicated the values to the community at large. Bob’s team was afraid of his blow-ups. His team often chose to avoid pointing out trouble spots in the forecasts, proposals and plans. Bob’s business wasn’t growing because didn’t have the capacity to onboard new clients and handle the new work, as well as the old. He didn’t see the contributions he made to the log jam. He saw weak, incompetent people who “needed” to be told what to do. Bob wished for a magic wand.
Did you ever wish for a magic wand to make a soured relationship whole again? Come on, let’s see- type in “Me” if this one applies to you. Recently one of my clients, let’s call her Beth- recognized that the leadership approach her father had successfully used during his tenure as CEO was not suited to her at all. She was plagued by the realization that she was not going to be able to be on call to put out every fire 24/7 like her dad chose to do. What Beth interpreted as a sign of failure, were really signs that a transformation was called for. By choosing to step into, and develop, her own leadership style, she then began to experience success. Beth doesn't need a magic wand. Beth has a growth mindset and self-awareness. Go Beth!