Cultivating Respect for New Leaders

Farm succession can be a tricky business. A recent article from Successful Farming answers the following submitted question: how can a farm owner set up his son for success in taking over operations, especially with crew members who do not respect the young new leader?

Author Mark McLaughlin suggests the following strategies for helping the son earn respect and prepare to take on the reins of leadership:

  • Focus on establishing the son’s authority at staff meetings by helping him prepare, analyzing how it went afterwards, and taking a back seat during the meeting time.
  • Make a clear map of each role the son will be taking on and set a schedule for each individual transition.
  • Consider whether changes to the makeup of your staff will be necessary in order to achieve respect for the son as the new leader.
  • Hold back from stepping in as the son starts to make decisions on his own—even to the point of letting him fail in relatively smaller decisions.
  • Keep in mind that having a strong succession plan in place is key, especially because unanticipated illness or other occurrences can sometimes mean that the transition will need to take place sooner than expected.

For further details, click here to read the article in full at Successful Farming.