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Orlando Succession Planning

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Orlando, Florida - Headquarters

       1700 W. Colonial Drive
       Orlando, FL 32804
       407.578.4455 (T)
       407.578.4480 (F)

       Complete Company Directory

 

 

 Orlando City Scape, by Sky Noir

   

Loyd Rawls, CEO

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Loyd H. Rawls is one of the nation’s leading succession planners. Since 1973, Mr. Rawls and his associates have provided business succession services for the owners and key executives of closely-held, capital intensive family businesses throughout the country.

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Daniel Thill, COO, CFP®

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Dan specializes in asset management programs, investment analysis, investment planning and non-qualified deferred compensation plans.

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David Ciambella, CFP®

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David specializes in addressing and solving complex problems and issues that arise as a result of comprehensively addressing business succession.

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Russell Phillips, M.A., M.B.A

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Associated with The Rawls Group since 1995, Russell Phillips’ primary focus is working with business owners, key managers and family members on the varying relational issues that impact the business legacy and their pivotal relationships.

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Champ Rawls, CLU®

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Being a part of his own family’s business, Champ has a unique insight into the difficulties, challenges, and triumphs that our clients face when combining family and business.

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Dan Iosue, CFP®

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As a succession planner, Dan Iosue, CFP® leverages his more than decade of experience in corporate leadership and financial planning working with clients to help them achieve their long-term business goals.

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Family Business Harmony - It's Not An Inalienable Right

To continue my thoughts on how to find family harmony, I think the second thing we all need to remember about  family unity is that none of us have a right or entitlement to a loving, supportive, unified family. Family love and support is not an inalienable right. I contend that outstanding family business relationships, just like outstanding businesses, are achieved as the byproduct of a mystical commodity known as hard work. Those who want to achieve family and business success work beyond the pain to achieve the gain. And if you have not had a dose of reality lately, just trust me when I tell you that wherever there are relationships, there will be pain.

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Remembering to Forget - The Secret to Building Family Business Harmony

My final thought on why some families are more effective at achieving harmony and unity is that successful families dwell more in the present than in the past. As even the presumed role model families will admit, it is not always hunky dory on the family front. The fundamental family motivation is “the good of the present outweighs the bad of the past”. My encouragement and advice to clients seeking family harmony and unity is to “remember to forget.” You have choices. First, do I want this/these relationship(s); do I want to have family in more than name only? If yes, you have to remember to forget the pain of the past as it can and will totally pollute the relationship prospects of the future. Being practical, I am not talking about forgetting that your brother-in-law is a convicted bank robber or that your son is a struggling drug addict. I am talking about the personal stereotyping and resentment that if allowed to taint every personal interaction will build and sustain insurmountable boulders in the pathway to strong interdependent families.

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How to Deal With Entitled Family Member Employees

As a family business succession planner I am intrigued with the ten interdependent factors of the Succession Matrix℠: Owner Motivation and Perspective; Successor Identification and Development; Key Manager Motivation and Retention; Strategic Planning; Business Structuring; Management Synergy and Teamwork; Business Performance; Financial Planning; Family Harmony and Family Governance. According to the International Succession Planning Association® (ISPA®), each of these factors independently and interdependently impacts the successful continuation of a closely held family business through the next generation of owners and managers. Each of these factors can be an asset or a liability to the achievement of business succession planning goals.

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Entitled Family Member Employees - Who is to Blame?

So how is it that entitled brats can make their way into otherwise healthy family businesses devouring efficiency, productivity and teamwork? What is it that blinds a hard working, highly experienced, bright business owner to the ridiculous, sophomoric behavior of their children or in-laws who have become profound impediments to the successful continuation of the business through the next generation of owners and managers? Apparently, there are no black and white answers to these questions. Otherwise, I would not be witnessing this pandemic of family business chaos. Otherwise, there would be active dialogue and “How To” books on this subject from family therapist colleagues. Otherwise, I would be encountering “conscious incompetent” business owners who would be saying “We know what we are doing wrong, we know how to fix it, but we just cannot make it happen”.  To the contrary, what I am seeing are “unconscious incompetent” business owners who are excited to have their kids in their business and just don’t have a clue that their business is on the road to crisis, decline, and a significantly reduced probability of “Succession Success”.

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Entitlement - How to Eliminate the Threat to Business Success

What is going on with the boss’ kids? Will the boss fire me if I tell him the truth? How much can I take before I blow and get fired?  Those are common questions asked by the unfortunate employees who are stuck dealing with family business terrorists: enabled kids who think and act by different standards than everyone else who has had to earn their way in the business. The damage associated with enabled family member employees is brutal, and almost always substantially reduces the probability of successful succession. Enablement blocks successor preparation. As we all encounter, experience, and recognize the high price of family member entitlement, the question is: how can this cultural disease be prevented or cured?

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Exit Strategy and the Joe-Pa Syndrome

There is a lot at stake in succession planning: family legacies, business value, financial security, and family harmony.  The goal of succession planning is to create a seamless transition of ownership, leadership and management while avoiding the classic “new leader” shock and awe that diverts mission focus, erodes management enthusiasm and dissipates organizational momentum.  

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Successor Development Challenges - Don't Alienate Key Management

Some clients appreciate what I offer more than others. In many cases this occurs when a very social child follows a task master parent into the CEO position of a business without appropriate experience, effective accountability, mentoring or coaching.

In the absence of working for another business, successors lack the understanding or empathy of an employee. If a successor has never been a common law employee, it is very difficult for them to effectively lead or manage employees. Furthermore, if a successor is never provided employment performance guidelines and held accountable to those metrics, it is very difficult for them to manage and lead those who are aspiring to make their mark on the business world, gain status and gain security.

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Effective Successor Leadership - Being a Leader Means You Can't Always Be Liked

Let’s continue with my letter to the “Successor,” reflecting my frustrations with his recent performance. We pick up where my straight talk begins to focus on “Successor’s” effort to buy affection and respect...

I hope you found our recent Board meeting worthwhile. As I expressed leaving the meeting, I regret the need for my grinding in regard to you establishing and communicating reasonable performance expectations and formal protocols for expenses, 401k match, profit sharing, pets and hiring family members. All these things continue to support my concern about your compulsion to be known as a good-guy and a propensity to attempt to buy respect and favor from family and employees.

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Warning! Why you should Set Performance and Expectation Standards for Family Member Employees

Now, for the conclusion of my letter to Successor. My straight talk concludes with a focus on his “good guy” leadership style, especially in regards to family members working in the business...

On the subject of a culture of tolerance versus teamwork, I am concerned about your “good guy” compulsion to expand the list of family member employees who are effectively, non fire-able employees. You may argue that you could fire anyone, but understand the definition of a non fire-able employee: someone, including but not limited to a family member employee, who will not be held accountable to the point of termination barring significant brain damage that impairs the attitude of the leader, harmony of employees, harmony of the family and/or a combination thereof.

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Effective Leadership - Hub and Spoke Eventually Chokes

Last year while reading the Orlando Business Journal I came across a one liner that read, “the sign of a good leader is when the business runs as smoothly when the leader is in the business as when he or she is out of the business.” As a succession planning professional dedicated to impacting lives and perpetuating family business legacies, this quote resonated with me. While it occurred to me that the title of this article sounds like a quote from Johnny Cochran, the hub and spoke approach to management and leadership impedes the business’ ability to operate smoothly when the business owner (the hub) is away from the business. And from a succession planning perspective, this can be devastating!

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Family and Business - Maintaining a Healthy Balance

When I think of the word balance, one of the images that come to mind is a gymnast carefully and bravely performing on the balance beam. As a sports enthusiast and competitive person, occasionally when I am channel surfing (which my wife loves), I come across a gymnastics competition and find myself captivated by the athletes and their level of focus, commitment and talent. Although I have never been a gymnast, it is apparent that becoming a successful gymnast and performing well on the balance beam requires an incredible amount of mental and physical preparation. Naturally, it also requires the athlete to have great balance. Like gymnastics, owning and working in a family business requires a tremendous amount of dedication and effort in order to achieve a healthy balance between family and business.

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Increasing Organizational Productivity - What Could Be Impacting Teamwork in Your Organization

Organizational productivity is dependent upon teamwork, which I describe as two or more people working together productively for a common goal. Team can be expressed or implied, conscious or unconscious but irrespective, organizational productivity depends upon the effectiveness of interdependent, collaborative effort. Teamwork can be fair, good or great, but teamwork cannot be bad because the contingency of teamwork is enhanced productivity. The English language does not give us a word that that describes the negative side of group collaboration which we generally associate with uncooperativeness, inter-organizational competition, backbiting and under productivity.

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4 Steps for Building Family Business Synergy - Changing "Dreawork" into Teamwork, Part 1

Trust is the single most critical component of teamwork. In the absence of trust in owners, leaders and colleagues, members of the “dream” (versus team) are looking over their shoulder and subsequently handicapped in their ability to focus on their assigned task.  Building trust is the first answer to how we convert a “dream” into a team that optimizes productivity and creates the Success Margin®. 

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4 Steps for Building Family Business Synergy - Changing "Dreamwork" into Teamwork, Part 2

Trust is the single most critical component of teamwork. Unfortunately, some people are just untrusting and believe in survival of the fastest and the fittest. Employment is just another opportunity to compete, win and validate their belief that they are capable of looking out for number one. Untrusting people expect others to disappoint and their fatalistic attitude generally creates a self fulfilling prophecy to the failure of a team. All forms of personal interaction have one purpose for the untrusting, improve their own circumstances.  They may be referred to as part of a group but the untrusting think individually and functionally, are team members in name only. 

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US Debt Downgraded: What do I do now? By Dan Thill

On Friday, August 5, the United States’ debt was downgraded from the highest rating of AAA to AA+ by Standard & Poor’s (S&P). The downgrade was announced after the market closed on Friday. Stocks had already been under pressure and as a result of the downgrade and investors being overwhelmed by the numerous opinions of talking heads over the weekend, the following Monday experienced investors exiting the market en masse. Subsequently, equity markets came under heavy pressure and unease mounted about the strength of our economy.

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How to Overcome the Curses of a "Control Freak" Culture

A thorough succession plan addresses the organizational and family issues that can impact the continued success of the business through the next generation of owners and managers.  A control freak at the helm significantly complicates two components of the Succession Matrix: successor identification and development and management teamwork and synergy. Notably, the control freak represents a barrier to the development of successors and supporting managers who have the confidence and competence to operate the business when the control freak inevitably loses his/her physical or mental ability to drive the business.

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If I am Considering Sale of My Business As My Succession Option, What Should I Be Aware Of?

There are two general classes of buyers for a business: internal and external. Internal buyers would be one or more key managers who could provide succession leadership. External buyers would be third parties including of course complementary vendors. 

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Business Succession and Long Term Care

Personal financial planning is a critical component of business succession planning. The general subject of personal financial planning is broken down into four components:  wealth development and financial independence, estate planning, credit continuity and exit strategy. Within the topic of wealth development and financial independence is sufficient personal income to facilitate independence from the continued success of the business. The presumption is that if you are dependent upon the business you will logically never release management control.  Consequently, you will never be able to genuinely determine if successor management is prepared to assume the responsibility of ongoing leadership and management. 

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Long Term Care and a Living Trust

As I discussed in my previous post, “Business Succession and Long Term Care,” the financial independence component of business succession planning has become more complicated with the growing concern about long term care. However, with the accumulation of wealth, there is reduced concern regarding the availability of resources to pay for long term care, if appropriately addressed.

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What You Should Know About Long Term Care Insurance

Per my previous posts on this subject, “Business Succession and Long Term Care,” and “Long Term Care and a Living Trust,” I hope you understand and agree that the financial independence component of business succession planning should address Long Term Care contingencies.

Long term care is not a simple matter even if you have the resources to provide for whatever level of care you desire. Due to the medical circumstances associated with the need for long term care you will need an objective advocate who you believe would have your best interest at heart who may not be your children because as your children may be preoccupied, from the dark side, or you may not have any children. 

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