Reflecting During Transition

Monday, October 26 2020

Lessons learned in the business setting can have relevance to our personal lives. Recently, a client reflected on the most important lessons learned during a leadership development program.  It turned out that asking questions and listening to understand were exactly what was needed to help their relationship with their teenager flourish. They made a conscious decision to put these lessons into practice in their personal life.

Over the course of your business career you have accumulated broad knowledge about how to be successful. You have gained understanding about relationships, communication, sales, motivation, stress, and strategy. Do you actively bring those lessons into your personal life?

Transition is an excellent time for reflection. It provides the opportunity to create a new story for your future and lets you decide what parts of your past are going to be included. Your future will not include your business in the same way it has, but that doesn’t mean that you need to leave the most important lessons behind. Your business has given you many gifts to take into your personal life. Take the time to figure out what has been most important to your success and use it to create your best life going forward.

At some point in your succession transition process your business will place peak demands on your time and energy as you strive to continue operations while adding the work required to plan and execute the transfer. There is a risk of neglecting your personal life during this period. What have you learned in business that can help your personal life?  What have you learned about a neglected piece of equipment or employee? Think of what you’ve learned about communicating with employees, customers, and suppliers, when time is short and stress is high. What translates to the relationships in your personal life and the way you treat yourself?

Your business lessons will also prove useful when you find yourself with much more personal time. Over the course of owning your business you may have learned how to motivate yourself, communicate, build relationships, and sell an idea, as well as the importance of having a mission, vision, and values.  The lessons you choose to carry forward can help you navigate into a life that feels very different from the one where business ownership played a significant role.

A transition, whether planned or unexpected, sends us into new territory. In your succession planning and execution, include time to think about the lessons you’ve learned in business that can help ensure your next chapter is positive and successful.