jeff-faulkner-the-rawls-group-family-business-succession-plannerJeff Faulkner


Succession Advisor


Atlanta, GA

Articles by Jeff

Jeff has been a member of The Rawls Group since 2002 and specializes in family business succession planning. He is responsible for cultivating and facilitating client relationships, relying upon his background in family counseling to navigate the unique challenges of family dynamics in the succession planning process.

Jeff earned his undergraduate degree from Samford University in Birmingham, AL with a major in Psychology, and his Master of Science in Counseling from Georgia State University. Jeff also earned a diploma from the Psychological Studies Institute where his studies focused on the integration of theology and psychology.

Jeff’s experience as a succession planner has allowed him to understand the delicate balance of the family-business system, and Jeff is currently writing his first book on this topic. Jeff is passionate about helping families in business develop more effective and productive relationships and is also technically proficient in the financial planning field for closely held businesses. Jeff holds several insurance licenses and is also working toward the Certified Financial Planner® designation to further enhance his financial planning skills. Jeff has spoken for the National Poultry and Food Distributors Association, Georgia Auto Dealers Association, Dixon-Hughes Certified Public Accountants and Advisors, and Conditioned Air Association of Georgia on topics dealing with comprehensive succession planning.

All Articles

Successor Development: 5 Key Indicators for Evaluating a Successor

Developing Successors for Seamless Transitions in Family Businesses Succession planning in family businesses requires the cultivation of successors possessing essential traits. These qualities include: Character: Upholding integrity and a strong work ethic. Confidence: Demonstrating self-assurance and trust in relationships. Capability: Possessing innate leadership qualities and people skills. Competence: Exhibiting proven proficiency within the business domain. Community Engagement: Embracing a stewardship mentality and prioritizing collective well-being. In this article, we'll explore how these qualities play a pivotal role in grooming the next generation of leaders and ensuring the continuity of family legacies [...]

How Succession Planning Fosters Trust & Empowers Next-Gen Leaders

A family business is such an excellent opportunity.  However, many 2nd and 3rd generation business owners screw it up.  And as Tracy shared, she and her husband did not want to be the generation to screw it up.  With the third generation entering the business, Tracy and her husband felt like the sandwich generation.  Tracy’s father still plays a role in the business; Tracy and her husband fill key leadership roles as President and GM, and Tracy’s son was ready to come on board.  As a family, Tracy wanted to sit around the Thanksgiving table [...]

Why Business Owners Need to Diversify Away from Their Operating Business and How to Do It

Our clients are among the wealthiest people in the country. Every one of them has a net worth that exceeds the current lifetime exemption amount and, therefore, fall into the category of the 1%’ers. In, Why Business Owners Need to Diversify Away from Their Operating Business and How to Do It, Jeff Faulkner, explains we find many of our clients, when we begin to work with them, have liquidity, or wealth, apart from the operating businesses they own. Why? Several reasons. Their operating businesses are capital intensive and require constant reinvestment. Their businesses are very productive and generally produce [...]

Cure for Resentment in Family Businesses

Recently I was sitting with a father and son who had reached an impasse in the succession planning process. The son, who took over operations several years ago, had been pressing his father to do more planning, i.e., transfer more stock. The father’s reaction has been less than positive as he doesn’t like being pressured, which is true of most people. There are other siblings in the family who are not involved in the business and who have received less stock and more of other assets as a part of the ongoing planning, but the father wants to include [...]

Guarding Process Against Routine

It is possible for process to become routine, and even more possible for the routine to replace the mission. When the routine becomes the mission, the mission is lost in the routine. The routine is not the mission. The routine is simply the currently agreed upon most efficient avenue by which the mission is accomplished. Unfortunately, when a process becomes routine these practices can become status quo and become an impediment to growth. For example, “this is the way we do things” becomes more important than “this is what we are trying to accomplish” the routine has become a [...]

What is The Best Way to Address Uncomfortable Subjects?

Addressing uncomfortable subjects during a time of crisis should be no different than in normal times. It is about communicating clearly and ensuring proper expectations are being set. Anxiety is higher during times of crisis and if leaders and organizations are not communicating out to their people on an ongoing basis, and sharing developments and expectations, fear will grow. There is no such thing as communicating too much. Don’t be afraid to address performance issues just as you would in normal times, and do not  use the crisis as an excuse to not have the [...]

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