Take a close look at the letters above. Now, without changing the sequence of the letters, break those twenty letters into a sentence.

If business has been tough or you don’t feel passion or commitment from your people, your sentence might read “Opportunity is nowhere.” You might be thinking, “What have I done with that list of business brokers? I know it’s around here somewhere.”

Tempting as that broker search might be, don’t jump at it. Those same twenty letters can create another sentence: “Opportunity is now here.” Same twenty letters, same and yet a completely different approach to finding a solution.

If you really don’t want to sell your business, you have the opportunity to begin recruiting additional talent to come in and lead the business through what at first seemed to be a wilderness with only one way out. There is always a possibility you will find someone in the twice-removed generation who has the complete BASKE (Behavior, Attitudes, Skills, Knowledge, and Experience) package that it takes to achieve Succession Success™.

So, how do you find such a person? You may need to use a professional recruiter; you may be able to tap into your network; or you may have what one of my partners calls an “AGOG” (A Gift Of God) walk into your facility and express an interest in working with/for you. In any case, you have to be able to describe and recognize someone who has the right stuff.

Here’s the step-by-step approach:

  1. Identify the characteristics of the people you need or want in key positions.

  2. Look within to see if there are internal candidates that you may have overlooked.

  3. Spread the word that you’re in the market.  Use your network.  If you don’t have one, develop one.

  4. Recruit rather than accept resumes.

  5. Interview with an eye toward culture first and skills second.

  6. Conduct multiple interviews with the people you think fit the mold.  

  7. Make them an inspiring offer that provides for autonomy, education, and open communication. 

  8. Pay them obscenely.

  9. Coach them for success. 

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