Are You Trying to Prepare Future Leaders? Try Executive Coaching.

July 26, 2018 | Ann Block

Ann Block; Vice President, Client Relations; Tero International

There has been a lot of attention on the topic of succession planning due to the increased numbers of baby boomers retiring or moving out of their lead roles in organizations. Why? Statistics show in a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey done with more than 1,600 family owned or managed businesses around the world, 27 percent expect to transition or change hands in the next five years. A staggering 47 percent (almost half!) of the companies have no succession plans in place. The Family Business Institute indicates only 30 percent of family owned businesses survive the second generation, and only 12 percent survive to the third generation.

These statistics explain why ABI has decided to make a conscious effort in 2018 to focus on this topic through association education sessions and offerings, including the annual conference this past June, the Bringing Boji Back event on August 1-2, and the upcoming Connecting Statewide Leaders session on August 8.

Attention is often given to the ‘financial’ and ‘business acumen’ when passing the wand from one leader to another, or one generation to another in a family owned business. Is a buy/sell plan or other arrangement in place for when the member/owner becomes disabled, decides to retire, decides to sell or ultimately dies? What about the interpersonal skills around how to successfully lead and manage the business? This may include how to interact successfully to build collaborative outcomes, how to build a positive culture and how to inspire those in your organization to want to do better—personally and professionally. Skills that are equally critical as knowing how to financially run the business.   

Executive coaching is a proven way to provide 1:1 development and direction to those individuals you have selected for upcoming roles. The initial session with a coach may help determine what organizational goals and objectives are appropriate for the individual to create a highly personalized (and confidential) development plan. Assessments may be incorporated, and coaching is designed specifically around leadership competencies relevant to the upcoming responsibilities of the individual. The length of the coaching may vary depending on the individual’s needs. It may include how to communicate as a leader with confidence and poise, how to look and act ‘polished’ and professional to represent the organization or how to positively position oneself and one’s organization through social media and online presence. Is it time for you or your organization to get started? 

Ann Block is vice president of client relations at Tero International in Clive, Iowa. Email her at