When Steve Jobs announced his departure as Apple’s CEO, the majority of shareholders, members of the press and Apple enthusiasts were taken aback. When such an iconic figure steps away from the helm of a company like Apple, many ask questions like “what’s next for Apple?” and “will the company survive?” This prompts another question that we should all be prepared to answer- “when the time comes to declare your last act, how will your company, family, or small business fare in your stead?”
While Steve Jobs is not entirely out of the picture at Apple, his role will become something entirely different as Chairman of Apple’s Board of Directors. We all have a responsibility to the companies for which we work, small businesses we own, and families we love to have our “succession plans” firmly in place and understood by each stakeholder.
It seems we have two options to deal with succession in whatever form it may apply to our situation:
1. Refuse to plan and wait for outside events to force you or others to react. This is a poor choice because your options may be severely limited and there is typically little time to make decisions.
2. Plan and implement your succession before you are forced to, on your own time and in a way that works best for all stakeholders.
If you are not sure about your business or family succession plans, ask us how we can help.