One magical day, the father walks onto the job and, with a hand on his son’s shoulder, says something like, “Son, it’s time you took the reins of control. I’ve watched you work; I know you can make this business a success.” At this point the father exits to pursue other interests and keeps his nose permanently out of the business, unless someone asks for his advice.
At least, that’s the storybook version. In reality, it’s rarely that simple. The fact is, in the father’s eyes, the kids are never quite ready to assume control. And as anyone who’s ever nursed a business from start-up to maturity can tell you, divorcing yourself from the day-to-day affairs of that business is traumatic. Most owners are...
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