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Family Businesses: The Essentials by Peter Leach

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8Managing succession

The leadership challenge

The willingness of family company owners to plan for their succession is often a decisive factor determining whether the business survives or fails. The mortality statistics make bleak reading. Worldwide, only about one-third of businesses successfully make the transition from each generation to the next, and some studies suggest that only around 5 per cent of family firms are still creating shareholder value beyond the third generation.1

Some family business observers believe that family firms should never be put in the hands of the next generation, arguing that successors are rarely as talented as their predecessors. Also, the more successful the predecessor, the larger the company and the less ...

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