Dealer Succession Planning: Locating and Installing Leadership
Leadership is Essential to Maintain and Grow a Business and Maintain a Good Reputation
Imagine working your whole life building a business that is financially successful and has a reputation in the community for integrity, community involvement, and excellent customer service.
But a year after you have left the business, it has earned a poor reputation, the street view is poor, and it’s losing money. What happened? Probably poor leadership.
If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right. Henry Ford
We believe dealer succession planning involves more than just “selling the business” and in fact involves three interrelated but separate components:
- Transfer of Wealth or Ownership
- Transfer of Management
- Transfer of Control
When you think of these three components, many issues come to light and it’s worth the time to consider how they will impact a sale or a transition.
New owners may be from the outside with little experience or they may be intimately familiar with the business and may have demonstrated an ability to excel in their respective roles as sales managers, supervisors, or the financial wizards department. But can they lead?
Can Leadership be taught?
If you have built a successful business with many employees, you likely have leadership skills, but is leadership a “subject” like math that can be taught? Or is leadership a philosophy? Is leadership an inherent God-given talent that cannot be passed on? There are thousands of books on leadership and you can spend a fortune on seminars and DVDs to possibly reach the conclusion that there is no solid answer.
We also believe a fundamental element of Critical High Performance Business Characteristics for High Value Businesses is an expectation of excellence from everyone in the organization. Are you the type of person to drive by an automobile dealership at night and notice that several light bulbs are out among the dozens of overhead lights illuminating the lot? Would it cause you to lose sleep at night? Why weren’t those bulbs replaced? Today they assign acronyms like OCD to people like that, but it’s the little things that add up to make a big difference.
Dealer Valuation and Dealer Succession Planning
The point is that among the key factors involved in the succession planning process, choosing people with leadership skills, ability, and experience is essential. Leadership development leads to higher business value which enables dealer succession planning flexibility and success.
Leadership is an issue Kirk Kleckner has experienced during a long career working with auto dealerships in the areas of dealer valuation and dealer succession planning. His credentials can be viewed by clicking here. Kirk can be contacted for a consultation at 612-294-