Identifying and developing successor candidates can be a challenging endeavor, especially when evaluating family member and key manager successor candidates. The difference between a family member employee and a key manager can be compared to an ongoing rivalry between 2 current NFL quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Their routes to the NFL couldn’t have been more different. Brady an unknown back-up in college and Manning whose essentially quarterback royalty.

The expectations of a young Tom Brady were low. His sixth-round draft position led to little hope of success. Mistakes were expected and successes a pleasant surprise. Brady’s was an underdog, lucky to be given a chance. This is the story of a key manager with hopes of running his own business someday.

Manning on the other hand, is a story of lofty expectations. A first-round draftee with everyone watching his development since high school. Because success was expected, his mistakes were magnified. He was on a pedestal from the start with a consort of affirmations, reiterating his abilities. This is the story of a family member employee, the successor to the family business, with a drive to outperform the previous generation.

Your successor may come from a Tom Brady (key manager) or Peyton Manning (family member) background. Regardless of their origins, consider the following before settling on the future leader of your organization:

  • Do his/her peers respect him/her as a co-worker?

  • Are they committed, competent, capable and community minded?

  • Have they previously had an opportunities to lead; and what were the results?

  • Do they have the right skills, attitude and work ethic – are they capable of development them?

  • Would they be good stewards of the business family?)

  • Do they understand where the business is going and are they on board?

If you begin with these questions in mind you will be on the path to developing your own MVP in your business’ Super Bowl.

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