Have you ever stopped to think about what the core skills or competencies are that someone needs to know to run your business? As you are thinking about what it looks like for someone, other than you, to effectively run your business one day, this is a vitally important question to ask. Not long ago, I sat down at lunch with my mom and dad and we had this exact conversation.  Asked them “What are the skills or competencies that I need to have in place to run the company one day?”

The conversation did a few things:

First, it opened up communication. When you are open about ways you need to improve, there is trust and respect built. Understanding that no one really knows it all is an equalizer of sorts.

Second, it gave us a starting point. How do you measure growth if you don’t have a place to start? By having this conversation, it gave us a starting point to measure growth by.

Finally, it gave us an opportunity to make sure that everyone is moving in the same direction long term. You should jump at every chance you get to talk about the future of your company. Use this conversation to continue to clarify your vision of the company and what needs to be done to do that effectively.

Here’s the deal, this isn’t necessarily an easy conversation to have. It involves moving a lot of your pride and ego aside. For the parents, it’s the thought that one day they won’t be running the company they have spent years building.  For the child, it’s the fact that there are still areas that they need to improve on.

Even if you have a good relationship with open communication, it’s still a hard conversation to have.

As I had the conversation with my parents, we came up with a list of things that I needed to work on and began to put a plan in place to get there. So, if you were to write out a list for your company what would it look like? Are there areas that you can continue to grow in as an owner? Is there training that the next generation of your company needs to participate in so that they are ready to run the company when the time comes?

Take time and have the conversation. While it may be hard initially, in the long run it will be worth it.