Category: Succession

What Will You Retire To?

As of this writing I have 68 days left running RMC before a new generation of management takes the helm. It’s been a good ride, but it’s been a long trail and Kathy and I are ready to hand over the reins. But just because we are ready doesn’t mean it’s easy. When what you […]

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Succession Expectations or Agreements?

Transitions are hard enough. A lot of folks make them tougher by making assumptions and building expectations. We can remove unnecessary drama and angst by turning our expectations into agreements. An expectation is something that either you or I have. An agreement is something you and I share. In the short run, expectations are convenient. […]

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Want To Keep It? Then Build It To Sell It.

Stan Parsons wrote, “If you want to be a cowboy get a job.” A business owner’s job isn’t to put up hay, work cattle, or build fence. It is to build a business. We hire employees to produce results that contribute to customer and owner value. When business owners hire themselves to work in their […]

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Survival of the Fittest & Natural Selection

Nature has a strict culling policy. If bulls and bucks don’t breed, or if does and cows don’t wean fawns and calves, their genes aren’t passed on. Survival of the fittest. Most commercial ranchers select for fitness too. If a cow is open or dry, she’s culled. If she’s got a bad udder or isn’t […]

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You Can’t Retire From Ranching

How is the next generation ever supposed to step up if the current generation can’t step down or at least step aside? The short answer is they can’t. It’s one reason managerial authority on many ranches skips a generation. More calamitous, it’s a major reason why young people don’t stay in ranching and multi-generational ranches […]

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Who Will Own What?

There are two big pieces to the estate planning puzzle: who will run what (management succession) and who will own what (the transfer of assets). In my last ProfitTips article I called management succession the more difficult of the two because it involves judging the competency of people you love and holding them accountable to […]

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Succession Success

Most people assume that the biggest estate planning fights involve “Who will own what?” It’s been my experience that, “Who will run what?” is often an even bigger issue. “Who will own what?” is usually a question of perceived fairness. To heirs, “Who will run what?” is a question of  respect. As part of a […]

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Getting Everyone on the Same Page

University of Wyoming Extension agent and Ranching For Profit School instructor, Dallas Mount, recently led a management succession workshop in Baggs, Wyoming. Dallas is a gifted, innovative teacher, and I was flattered when he asked me to participate in the program. Dallas did a great job of distilling successful succession into five core areas. Getting […]

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Coming Home to Work

If you have a family ranch, whether you know it or not, you have a family employment policy. At least your kids think you do. In the absence of a formal, written policy, kids often grow up with the expectation that regardless of their education, experience or talent, there will be a role for them […]

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A Great Place To Raise A Family

I occasionally lead workshops I call Hard Work and Harmony: Effective Relationships In Family Businesses. In it I like to ask participants to explain to the person next to them, why they ranch.  Some say they love being their own boss, or love working outdoors and with livestock. Almost all of them say something about […]

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