b'(co ntinued from page 8) Future owners also need to think about their personalOnce those strategically critical roles are identified, financial situations. Future construction businessowners can define what great looks like in each of owners are often at an age (30s or 40s) when theythose roles. "When someone walks in the door to fill don\'t have a lot of extra cash lying around. "They areone of those positions, what characteristics would often still in that head-above-water phase," Clancythey possess that would compel you to hire them on says. "That\'s why future owners really need to thinkthe spot?" Clancy asks. through their personal financial situations and objectives." Set some standards. Building on the above statement, what do you need when it comes to successor Avoid shotgun partnerships. When two people arecandidates? Yes, they need certain technical skills and forced to be business partners, it rarely ends well.industry knowledge. But to increase the odds of being Even when it appears to be a good fit on paper, thingsa successful successor, the following traits are also can go wrong.important: Compatible with company culture "I had a client whose next generation managementStrong in communication and networking came into play, and one of the new owners didn\'t have that fire in the belly to evolve outside of his currentOpen to development and coaching role to help grow the business," Clancy says. "It allFierce commitment to meeting unselfish goals looked good on paper, and he did turn out to be aCurious, insightful and engaging really good project manager. But he just didn\'t have what it took to be an owner. The client had to have theStrategic, long-term thinker difficult conversation with this person and buy him back out. Thankfully, he didn\'t get upset and quit. In fact, he agreed that he probably wasn\'t a good fit forClancy refers to something called peak profiles. Peak part owner, and didn\'t even want to be an owner. Heprofiles align with the company\'s purpose, values, stuck around for another three or four years."culture and vision. Peak profiles also help differentiate a star performer from an average one. "Peak profiles drive who we are and what we do to In the event that a potential new owner does prove tomake the company successful," Clancy says. have what it takes, it is important to define what thatEssentially, a peak profile describes the "perfect person\'s day-to-day role in the business will be. This isemployee" in terms of how they think and perform. especially vital when multiple people are slated to take over the business. The last thing a new ownership/management team wants is confusionAssess your pipeline. Whom do you already employ among itself and its employeesmuch less conflict.that could potentially fill the key roles in the future? Do you have enough talent in the pipeline or will you need to look externally for talent? Identify the Develop Potential Successors Early in the Processcandidates, assess their capabilities, and then identify When you look at the top reasons why continuitywhere any gaps exist. "Then you can begin addressing planning and management succession fail, most relatethose gaps, whether that means training and to not having the right people who are prepared tomentoring of existing candidates, or additional efforts assume leadership and management of the company.to recruit externally," Clancy says. To avoid this, a current owner must take steps early in the process to begin identifying and developing theirPrepare your successors. Training and mentoring are potential successors.critical. "Give your successor candidates developmental assignments, and then evaluate Clarify key roles. According to Clancy, roles such aswhether they are getting them done the way you equipment operators and project managers, whilewould like," Clancy says. "The next step is looking vitally important, are givens. "We\'re talking aboutfor ways to accelerate their development." people who really help drive the business forward," Clancy points out. "Maybe that is your chief estimator,There are different tools available including coachingbusiness development director or operations manager, for instance." (continued to page 21) 11'