On December 4th, Dave Franzetta, co-author of Changing Places, talked with radio host, Michael Dresser, on the Michael Dresser Show, broadcast on CRN Digital Talk Radio. This is Part 5 of a 5-part edited version of the radio interview.
MICHAEL DRESSER: I wanted to jump to another subject. You’re old enough to remember the Peter Principle.
DAVE FRANZETTA: Absolutely. Rising to one’s level of incompetency…
MICHAEL: And that’s what happens to so many people. They say, okay, I’ve got this great salesperson, he does a terrific job, and so now he’s been there long enough I’ll make him a manager and, well, he’s just an okay manager. And time passes and now he’s been there long enough so that he gets bumped up to an executive position. Great salesperson,, okay manager, lousy executive. What they hit was their level of incompetency and that’s something businesses have to watch out for.
DAVE: They certainly do. Not only watching out for Peter Principle type of issues but also making sure, especially in family businesses, that they’re not making early judgments about who’s the right person to take over the business. Primogeniture Rules aren’t going to necessarily give you the best next generation leader. The oldest son may not be the best person to run the company. You know, child number three, your daughter, with an MBA from Kellogg School at Northwestern, she may be the one.
MICHAEL: David, let me ask you, I pick the book up and I read it page-by-page, cover-to-cover, what do I get as an entrepreneur that I didn’t have before reading your book?
DAVE: Okay…the most important thing you get is clear, step-by-step suggestions about what you need to do and what you need to know as a the person, and what you need to know as an owner of a business, to keep your business alive and kicking after you depart the business. That’s what you get.
MICHAEL: Interesting point that you brought up and I don’t know how many people realize that you have to look at this one person–the business owner–with two different perspectives: that of the owner, and also that of the person. And if we do that, then all of a sudden the world takes on a completely different context, doesn’t it?
DAVE: Exactly right, Michael. And that’s the major focus of our book. You have to start with yourself as a person, and know what it is that you want out of your life; not just what your life is today, but what you want out of the rest of your life. You should have a place where you want to go.
MICHAEL: I wonder how many people can actually answer that question? Somebody gave me a process years ago and today it still really works. If you don’t know what you want to do with your life, project yourself 10 to 20 years ahead, and put yourself at a dinner party where they are honoring you. Then write down everything that you want them to say about you and your accomplishments. Then consider what you doing now, and where you are going. Now you’ve got 15 or 20 years to create your personal vision of your future.
DAVE: There are a wide variety of techniques available to help you do that. I can remember a situation that I had myself, when I was in graduate school and taking a Business Planning class. In our first class session our instructor told us, “If you’re going to learn to plan for your business, the first thing you have to do is learn to plan for yourself.” The very first assignment was to write our own obituary; “What do you want people to say about you when you’re gone?”
MICHAEL: Yeah, I remember there was somebody interviewed years ago and the name of the book was, “–” (Dash); It was the punctuation mark on a gravestone, signifying the time between the date of birth and the date of them leaving this world.
Wow, David, we are all out of time. Could we get a website where we can find you and get the book?
DAVE: Sure. You can find me at DesignedOutcomes.com
MICHAEL: Wonderful. Hey, David, thank you so much for joining us today. Great book!
DAVE: Thank you, Michael.
As a business owner, you have to start with yourself as a person to know what you want out of the rest of your life.
Check it out: “Changing Places: Making a Success of Succession Planning for Entrepreneurs and Family Business Owners”(published by AuthorHouse).
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Changing Places is a helpful guide for small business owners planning to retire.
LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA – (DAVE FRANZETTA > SIRI > BLOG POST> 12.28.12 > 7:41PM PST)