Currently, Taiwanese enterprises have reached a crucial juncture in which a large number of successors need to be passed on. The process of smoothly transitioning from the first generation to the second generation has emerged as a new area of study and exploration.
However, there are often obvious gaps in concepts and communication between the two generations regarding handover and succession.
According to the surveys and reports on the succession of family businesses by Global Review Monthly in recent years, as well as my personal experience in family businesses, there are three key factors that will affect the willingness of the second generation to assume leadership within the company. These factors include the second generation’s personal interest in the family business, effective business cognition and communication between the first and second generations, and the capabilities and performance of the second generation within the enterprise. The first two relate to succession motives, while the latter relates to succession ability.
The younger generation possesses a strong sense of autonomy , making it important to avoid forcing the idea of succession upon them.. Instead, it is crucial to establish an environment that allows the second generation to discover their own interest in the family business. Creating effective modes and enhancing mutual understanding can also enhance the succession motives of the second generation. Once motivation is enhanced, the first generation can systematically nurture the succession abilities of the second generation.
Therefore, succession motivation is always more important than ability!
However, as a business founder, how can you tell if your children are motivated to succeed? One way is by observing their demeanor when they work. Take note of whether there is a spark of enthusiasm on their faces as they contribute to the family business. This brilliance emerges from self-confidence, a sense of certainty, and a strong sense of responsibility. It indicates that they have a clear understanding of what needs to be done, how to accomplish it, and why they are doing it. Thus, when it comes to introducing a child into a family business and preparing them for succession, the initial step is to genuinely understand the child and place them in a suitable position where they can maximize their potential value.Only through this approach can their motivation be ignited, allowing for the cultivation and development of their abilities.
Nevertheless, while abilities can be taught and developed, motivation cannot be instilled through instruction alone. Motivation can only be sparked and nurtured by creating an environment where children can discover their own sense of purpose and passion, which is why it is essential to allow them to experience the profound feeling of “this is what I want” on their own terms.
For children to truly grasp the feeling of “this is what I want,” they will delve into the very essence of their being and explore the question of “Who am I?”
If you are the second generation of enterprises and are reading this column, I would like to ask you to think about two essential questions:
1. Without a family business, who am I?
2. When faced with a blank business card, how can I effectively introduce myself?
Are you able to answer them??
How do you introduce yourself to introduce yourself?
Who are you truly?
“Who am I?” is a profound question that has intrigued philosophers throughout history, urging us to embark on a deep exploration of our own identity. Knowing oneself is the fundamental step towards actualizing one’s true potential. This holds particular significance for second-generation successors in an enterprise, as before leading others, one must first learn to lead oneself. To become an effective leader, it is imperative to gain a profound understanding of one’s true essence.
How does a person know who he is?
The ancient saying “I am born with talents and must have my own use” holds profound wisdom. Deep within each of us lies a yearning to pursue something meaningful, accompanied by unique talents that set us apart. There exists a place in the world where our skills and abilities are needed. Essentially, this saying implies that when we are born, we are entrusted with a special mission, and equipped with the necessary tools to fulfill it. These tools enable us to carry out our exclusive tasks in a specific location where our presence is valued, ultimately benefiting those who require our contributions. Hence, in order to progress and gain a true understanding of oneself, it is essential to clarify:
1. What is my “special mission”?
2. What are my innate “tools”?
3. Where is “the place I am needed”?
As the successor of enterprises, if you can answer these three questions without hesitation, then congratulations, you already know where you are going!
In truth, the “exclusive mission” represents what a person truly “loves,” while the “tools” symbolize their genuine areas of expertise. The “where I’m needed” refers to the realm in which a person genuinely “cares.”
When the second generation of a company can identify the intersection of their passions, skills, and genuine concerns, they will discover their optimal “positioning.” By embodying this positioning within the family business, they can contribute the highest value. This alignment creates a powerful connection between themselves and the family business, enabling them to make significant contributions and forge a shared future for both themselves and the enterprise.