Oct 15, 2023

135: Turning Down Family Business Succession, Pete Walsh

Pete Walsh is a Master Coach and a trusted advisor who brings real-life lessons to his family business and executive clients. Pete is the first guest on Succession Stories who turned down next-generation succession.

In 1919, Pete’s great uncle and grandfather started Walsh Bros. as a typewriter repair company in the times of the US Wild West. As the 3rd generation, Pete joined the business and slowly worked his way up the company ladder. There were lots of owner branches on the family tree, and Pete felt that the road to autonomy and ownership was too much of an uphill journey. He said no to family business succession and ventured out on his own. Years later, the family sold the business to Target Corporation bringing an end to Walsh Bros after a successful 89-year run.

Pete followed his passion for leadership development and coaches family businesses across the US. He is also the author of The Family Business Playbook that includes some timeless advice from his grandfather.

Listen in as Pete joins host Laurie Barkman for a great conversation about family business performance and what it takes to win. Enjoy this Succession Stories episode about turning down the family business with Pete Walsh.

Find Pete Walsh Here: https://familybusinessperformance.com


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SHOW TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome back to the Succession Stories podcast. If you’re not already, please give me a follow on Instagram @lauriebarkman. Be sure to hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss a future episode. And if you listen to this podcast and enjoy it, do me a favor and leave a rating and review on Apple or Spotify- it really makes a difference and enables me to reach more people and help them along the way.

Pete Walsh is a Master Coach and a trusted advisor who brings real-life lessons to his family business and executive clients. Pete is the first guest on my show who turned down next-generation succession.

Some quick background: In 1919, Pete’s great uncle and grandfather started Walsh Bros. as a typewriter repair company in the times of the US Wild West.

As the 3rd generation, Pete joined the business and slowly worked his way up the company ladder. There were lots of owner branches on the family tree, and Pete felt that the road to autonomy and ownership was too much of an uphill journey. He said no to family business succession and ventured out on his own. Years later, the family sold the business to Target Corporation bringing an end to Walsh Bros after a successful 89-year run.

Pete followed his passion for leadership development and coaches family businesses across the US. He is also the author of The Family Business Playbook that includes some timeless advice from his grandfather. We had a great conversation about family business performance and what it takes to win. Enjoy this Succession Stories episode about turning down the family business with Pete Walsh.

“How do you help your next generation? Get out of the way. Let them make a few mistakes and learn.”

Find Pete Here: https://familybusinessperformance.com

Laurie Barkman
Pete Walsh Welcome to Succession Stories. I’m so thrilled to talk with you today. We have so much ground to cover. I don’t know how we’re going to fit it into one episode. Let’s dive in, let’s get started. First of all and foremost, welcome.

Pete Walsh
Well, thank you for inviting me. I’m really excited to be here. I’ve been listening to a bunch of your shows. This is important work, and I’m just really excited to be here.

Laurie Barkman
It’s really important work. You’ve been doing amazing things with family businesses for years. And I want to first start with you and your experience with your own family business. Tell me about your family’s company.

Pete Walsh
Yeah. Walsh Brothers office equipment started in 1919 in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. My uncle moved from Philadelphia. He had tuberculosis, came out to Arizona, started a royal typewriter company, way down and Central Phoenix. We were in business for 88 years.

We later then became a Steelcase office furniture dealership. And so by the time I got there, in the late 70s, early 80s, we had a couple of 100 employees. We grew them to 300 employees, we had lots of different locations.

We’re actually in a few different sub-businesses within that, but we were in the office environments business. And it was a really important part of our community. And you know, this is another thing I’m really interested in, like family, second generation families working they’re really well known in the valley. And so it was just a centerpiece of my life.

Laurie Barkman
That’s an interesting transition from a typewriter business to office furniture and distributor for Steelcase people know the Steelcase brand, very popular. That’s an innovation in itself, I’m sure that story is that transition. I’m curious about your role. So your grandfather was the founder, right?

Pete Walsh
Yeah, Richard Walsh.

Laurie Barkman
Richard was the founder. So here you are generation three, tell me your story.

Pete Walsh
Well, I want to just hit a piece in between too that my father took over the business, and then he fell ill, and then my uncle had to take over the business. So this is another thing you and I know about in succession and planning. A lot of different things can happen. Since I was a little kid, I thought, I’m gonna take my role and run the family business someday. And that was a dream of mine. I got my degree in marketing and management, went into the family business, started in sales, project management, got the Vice President of Operations, and love so many things about it. Yet my uncle and I didn’t see quite eye to eye on some important things to me. And by the time I got to my mid-30s, I’ve lost two brothers and two best friends. And I had decided life was short. And I loved and respected my uncle, and he said, This is going to be yours someday. And he was a workaholic and a micromanager. I love him dearly. Sorry, Uncle Tim. I thought, you know, I just can’t see myself waiting another 20 years.

So Karen and I were at church, I like to say I’m highly spiritual, although not highly religious, a recovering Catholic. The sermon was about finding your special gift. And I prayed in that moment and said, Help me find what mine is. I know I can hit a home run for you. Those were my exact words. Three days later, a friend of mine who owned a construction company, we were having lunch and she said, our coach said this, I said, your coach, what’s that? And she said, somebody that helps us develop our plans and hold us accountable. I said, you’re kidding. That’s a job. Oh, my God, my life turned on a dime.

What I didn’t realize Laurie was I was a coaching leader. I was pulling our warehouse delivery installation crews together, talking about how we could get better, rehearsing all of this. And I was really a coach at heart. So I hired a coach. I love the work that we did. And I went back to my uncle and said, I’m gonna go be a coach. And he said, You’re kidding me? He said, Do you have any assurance of making a living? And I said, None. And he looked at me like, I’d lost my mind. And all the employees quite honestly. And I went out and started coaching and corporate America. Then an estate planning attorney came to me and said, Why don’t you come work with families? And I said, Oh, that’s messy. I don’t want to do that. And I had, he introduced me to a couple families and I absolutely loved it.

I’d been away long enough. I was watching leadership best practices in corporate America and bringing that back into the family and my life turned on a dime again, and I looked at the guy upstairs and said, I thought my life’s work was to run our family business. But as it turns out, my life’s work is to impact family businesses all over the world. And so I just feel super lucky.

We then sold the business to Target Corporation about 10 years after I left. And that’s another thing you and I talked about, at some point that, you know, it doesn’t always work out the way you think it’s going to work out. For our family, it was really the right thing. There were many family members that owned a part of the company, none of which were really working in the business. It was like handing off the business to a company that could take it to the next level, and really help it begin its next chapter. And that’s a hard thing to deal with. Yet, it was really the right thing for the family and the employees, and our customers.

Laurie Barkman
Absolutely. How old were you? May I ask it? Generally, were you in your 40s when you told your uncle that you weren’t interested? Or were you in your 30s?

Pete Walsh
I was in my 30s. I love this too. This is an important thing. I remember. I told him like when I was in my mid-20s, get out of the way Old man, you have no idea what you’re doing. And then by the time I got into my 30s, and 40s, and 50s, it was like, he’s a pretty smart guy. I joke I play with the families I work with, it’s an important part of coaching and learning. I say to mom and dad shut up and give these kids a little bit of room. Then I say to the kids, “Hey, shut up and listen to mom and dad. They’ve got a lot of wisdom.” I kind of referee in between. So, I know now it worked out perfectly for us. It really did.

Laurie Barkman
They probably were reeling a little bit, right? When you said I’m not the guy, I’m not going to take over because it was probably assumed as a fate to compete, right? That you were coming in you were successful, you’re rising through the ranks, people expected you to assume a certain role. In succession, if we can just put it out there, there’s really two core types: ownership succession and leadership succession. For now, let’s talk about both you were assumed to be a leadership successor for your uncle, the takeover CEO. What did they communicate to you on the ownership side?

Pete Walsh
Well, in the ownership side, there was a state planning in place yet for our family. This is the other thing, you know, by then, when my grandfather left, he left a third, a third, a third to the siblings. In the next generation, there’s a bunch of people that have little pieces of it. And you and I know that it gets a lot more complicated. So truthfully, for a big company to come in and write one check to the family, that was a lot less complicated than really turned to iron out. I’m the youngest of our generation or one of the younger, so I’m now 61. But so at the time, I was in my early 50s. And a lot of those generations were in their early 60s, and they had these shares of company business.

In their 60s, do they want to have a check that will help them for their retirement? Or do they want to double down on the next generation making this investment payoff? So for a lot of families, it just, it gets more complicated as you get into the third, fourth, and fifth generation, as you know.

Laurie Barkman
Yeah, absolutely.

Pete Walsh
There’s a thing called pruning the family tree that you might know, and I have letters actually sitting here in my desk from my grandfather to his brother in the 1930s, saying, “You know what, you ought to come to work and be more focused and set a good example.” He bought out his brother in the 30s. Sometimes you have to prune the family tree,

Laurie Barkman
You do have to prune the family tree. It also is important to underscore for the audience that we can assume all we want about the next generation taking the baton and running with it. But unless we really check in and know if that is that what they want? And are they qualified, you can be one and not the other, and in your case you were qualified, but you didn’t want it?

Pete Walsh
No question. You and I both know that when the business was just selling metal desks in the 1960s. Well, by the time I was there in the late ’80s, early ’90s, were selling cubicles, that’s a lot more complicated, a lot more moving parts. And in most of the families that I work with, that’s a similar story. Business has gotten more complex, it’s more demanding. And you might want a professional manager and executive team we’ll talk about that and mixing family and professional, nonfamily members but it’s really doing a disservice to the next generation to just simply assume “Okay, now do you want to run this $50 million construction company?” It’s like, that’s a big job. You probably shouldn’t just put that off on your son or daughter, right?

Laurie Barkman
Yeah, they have to certainly want it. And they have to have the skill set. And heavy is the head that wears the crown.

Pete Walsh
Right? Right. And then when you get in-laws, and you get, you know, cousins, and then that heavy crown now, this is part of where I come in, somebody to come in and say, “Hey, we did an assessment. We’re now looking, we’re getting 360 feedback from others. And I know you think Joe is a really good kid and really smart. But yet, the employees don’t really respect him, or he doesn’t have the skill set.” Many times when I come into a family, it’s my job to help them have a process. That’s the important thing. Yeah, a legitimate process. I have a couple kids, and probably that they might each say, Well, if you’re the favorite, and it’s like, no, I love y’all equally. But that’s a hard thing. To get some outside help experts that can come in and say, “Hey, here’s a way that we can measure leadership and competency and personality types.” That’s an important piece of the process to have a way to objectively measure capabilities and motivation,

Laurie Barkman
Which is a big part of this book that you’ve written, you’ve written a book called The Family Business Playbook. Thank you so much for sending it to me. It is chock full of like you said, exercises and food for thought that a family can walk through on their own, certainly, if they have a coach, like yourself work to help them through some of these challenges and work through what needs to be facilitated on that a coach, it’s such an important role. I see a lot of sports analogies. Did you play some sports? I’m sensing that you did.

Pete Walsh
Well, it’s ironic, because I wasn’t very good. My coach, my little league coach, I wrote a first book coach to win the leadership game. He built a relationship with me, he taught me the fundamentals. The backdrop of that book is this idea of deliberate practice. Vladimir Horowitz was the best piano player on the planet. And he said, if I stopped practicing for a day, I notice, in two days, my wife notices, and in three days, the critics notice and I thought, Wow, that’s so important. I use a sports analogy, like to give them exercises on communication, conflict resolution goal setting, because we got to keep practicing.

I don’t really know what channel ESPN is on my dial. I am a tortured golfer, I would say that, but in performance, whether it’s athletics, or music, or emergency response teams, they gotta practice to be their very best. I teach families how to rehearse, bring the whole family together at the summer retreat, and start talking about these things. Communicating and getting the conversation started early when they’re like in middle school, in high school. Everybody’s starting to get indoctrinated. And I saw something last week, which was so good. The guy said “You got to be the CRO, the chief-reminder-officer, you have to keep reminding the family.” This is not a given this is we have to work at this. We got to keep practicing. So that’s why the sports analogy I think works well.

Laurie Barkman
It does. One of the things in the book that I noticed was a phrase about landmines. Yeah, mines are tricky, right? There’s risk, trip wires that can cause irreparable damage. What are some of the more common landmines that you see with family businesses these days?

Pete Walsh
I think about personality styles. That was a central story with me and my uncle. He was a very conservative plan full guy, attention to detail. And I was more of a big picture person, new ideas. Personality styles, values, what are our values? You’d know this too, that when the kids all grew up at the same table, that’s one thing, but when you start to get cousin consortiums as what we call them. There’s a lot of different values, there’s just behaviors and norms. “Hey, here’s how we treat each other.” We start having bad emails, or we have conflict that causes a rift in the family for years.

The landmine detection map is in the book and it’s also on the website and it’s it’s a graphic that shows you think here’s what’s going to happen, and then here’s what can happen, and the damage or cost. It’s really important. to have awareness and education about these things.

Laurie Barkman
Yeah, for sure. We’ve also talked about reflection points. We’re so busy, it’s difficult to reflect. Your process pushes that idea, we need to reflect. What do you think are some of the more challenging reflection points for families to align on?

Pete Walsh
Well, I have this idea, this concept of reflective practitioner: you and I are in a team, we say, here’s what we’re going to do when we meet with the client or the employees. Afterward, we get back together and review the game film, and say, “Hey, I thought you said you were going to go left, but you went, right.” That’s that idea of really learning how to reflect on everything you’re doing. I think what your question is, one of the hardest things is to just be really honest with each other, but with a compassionate heart to say, “I know you meant well, Laurie, and I know you said you were going to do X, but are you aware that you did Y?” and you’re like “I did? I wasn’t even aware of that.” Much of this work is about self-knowledge, self-awareness, and in a family, we see each other a certain way. I just have to keep going back to objective outside feedback, and a compassionate, warm heart. In delivering in, you know, Lou Holtz said, critique the performance, not the performer. That’s really good. So I tried to teach them how to be reflective practitioners.

Laurie Barkman
One of the topics that I would imagine is difficult for families, is thinking about the lifecycle of the business, and creating a big picture for the family, this family vision. People might have a vision, they might not, they might have it, but it’s not congruent with the other person’s, right? Especially as these companies get larger and larger. I want to talk about the lifecycle of a business. If we think about companies as people, it’s like a dieses is work if people are familiar with that work. It’s something I talk about in my workshops, a lot. I do address it in my book, too. From your perspective, maybe just a high-level summary. How do we think about company life cycles?

Pete Walsh
Well, I think you hit the nail on the head, I speak in metaphors and analogies, just like the lifecycle of a person, you are an infant, you’re a teenager, you’re young, 20s, 30s, then you get more mature. That’s the way to look at the business and a lot of businesses, their markets are maturing and changing. Even if you are doing certain things, right, your market could be changing. One of the other things that I know you and I will think about and talk about is going from owner-operator to owner-investor. Getting a professional management team, I have some families that were really working with that to say like, and it’s kind of counterintuitive to how a family thinks like, “Well, the best thing is for us to be there at the table.” Well, you can be there at the table as a board member, but you would be really smart to hire a president and have a board and create governance. See, that’s the other thing I teach them how to practice being a board. That’s a different skill set. It could be that the business needs to change hands but it could also be that the business now needs to be run in a different way.

Laurie Barkman
Or is there a natural ending point? Not be a conversation, your family’s experience was to sell to a third party. I guess we could call that a natural ending point. The other type of natural ending point would be to close the business, which does happen as well and it can feel very uncomfortable, can’t it?

Pete Walsh
Well, you know, it’s funny, you said that I love Walsh Brothers. I’ve got a bunch of Walsh Brothers stuff on my bookshelf back here. It was like chloroforming our favorite uncle but it was the right thing to do. It really was to let that go on into the next iteration. It is super hard but that’s the other thing I wanted to mention today. We don’t get to pick our spots. We sold our business, got a check in our hand. And the meltdown of Lehman Brothers happened 30 days later. Over the next year or two, the value of the business dropped considerably because of real estate, everything dropped. I said to my uncle one time, you’re either really smart or really lucky.

I have a couple of my clients in the last year or two that had a good business. It’s doing very well, but they are men in their early 60s with a wife and family and they’re like, “You know what, I’m going to sell the business now.” Because the one guy, “It’s okay, if something happens to you, what do you think’s going to happen to the value of the business? Or do you see your significant other being at the table to try to negotiate the value?” That’s an important thing to remember. We don’t get to always pick our spot. Sometimes you say, for my family, and for our stakeholders, all of our employees, it would be good for me to exit now and not chance what could happen.

Laurie Barkman
Well, it’s difficult to time the market that story you just told about Lehman Brothers. Oh, my goodness, 30 days from the crash. Unbelievable. Nobody had a crystal ball. You didn’t know that was going to happen but it just underscores the point. You can’t time the market. Now you guys got very lucky, no doubt about it, you really just can’t, you didn’t know it was coming.

Pete Walsh
Of course, here’s another thing, an important thing in my work, put your ego aside. We always think like, “Oh, I got this, I got to figure it out. I’m the greatest.” You and I talked about this a little bit before the show, you got to build a team around you. The value of your business is really directly related to the people you have on the team, and the continuity of the business. I have to say that I run into some people who will remain nameless at the moment, that kind of the world revolves around them at their business. It’s like, “Hey, you’re really not doing the right thing for your business.” The better thing is to be level five leadership, servant leadership. How do you help your team? How do you help your next generation? One way you help them is to get out of the way. Let them make a few mistakes, let them learn on their own.

Laurie Barkman
Yeah, that’s critical. Yeah, the point you made earlier about owner-operator to owner-investor also speaks to people thinking of their business as an asset versus a job. Maybe in family businesses that are larger, you had 300 employees was quite a significant revenue business. Maybe that’s a natural thing to think about because no one family member owned it, it was shared across the cousin cohorts as a coalition, as you said. I’ve been curious about smaller businesses may be the founder, let’s think about gen one, listening to this show. Now they’re wondering, When should I start a family board? Is it too soon? Should I be larger? Some other folks who have been on my show that do recruiting for an example, Bruce Walton, his episode, he talked about a business being maybe 20 million when you have an advisory board, and then maybe 40-50 million when you set up a fiduciary board? Do you have any benchmarks or anything to share?

Pete Walsh
I really don’t in terms of those numbers, but I do think as you’re talking, I err to the side of having more voices at the table. Again, that’s counterintuitive. The world in my estimation is getting more complicated, more dynamic, the more you can put other peers at the table. That’s a kind of a scary thought, I’ve got to kind of reveal a little bit of who we are. But I think, again, back to practice, starting to get that family just talking about what do we think about this business, where it’s gonna go the founder, as you said, helping the founder have a vehicle to start to explore. It is really an important piece of coaching. It’s really hard to go home and start talking to your family about I’m thinking of whether I should do this or that. Of course, you’re going to freak them out. I think the numbers you said, were very good. If you reach a certain point, you ought to start developing a family board, and then outside advisory board is really good as well.

Laurie Barkman
Yeah, it’s always good to get trusted advisors around you who are independent,

Pete Walsh
Right but remember, that takes time too. I’ve seen some teams and some boards where it’s like, ah, and things just aren’t clicking here. Now we get a new board member and things are kind of jiving, they’re kind of working. Every team takes on a different personality, a different time and the other thing is, you think you have the right team, and then something happens, and you’ve got to change it out. So that’s why that idea of practicing developing and building those muscles is so important and, and works really in every case.

Laurie Barkman
Absolutely. Just to share from my own experience, I was recruited to a family advisory board a couple of years ago, and we were a startup board at that time. Now we’ve been together a couple of years. It was really interesting and interesting. I mean that our story is still unfolding. And this is the second generation, it’s three brothers, and I give them a lot of credit that It’s not easy to start an advisory board from scratch, have three complete independent people who are not friends with the family, we were not golf buddies. Yeah, truly independent. We’re not directing management, we’re not certainly not involved day to day operations at all. It’s purely strategic. We are for them, we are for the brothers. From time to time you and I should should check in on it. It’s a really good example of the brothers saying to themselves, “We need to do something different. We need to have some outside perspectives to help us.” Just a quick shout-out and kudos that they’ve done that,

Pete Walsh
Well, it’s another principle of coaching. A good coach stretches you a little bit, and stretches you out of your comfort zone, right? If you’re just if you’re too comfortable. So I think for that family, I say kudos to them. I’m sure it’s a little bit uncomfortable but when it’s uncomfortable, you’re building some new muscle. Yeah, that’s really great. What a gift for you to get to have an impact because I’m sure like me, I have some families that I get to impact that I think it’ll have an impact for generations. That’s really sacred work.

Laurie Barkman
It really is, I want to start to wind down today’s conversation and have some ideas about what people can do to take action. It’s great that they listen, it’s great that they learn. But I want the audience to think about what they can do. Best time to start planning was yesterday, but here we are today. What are what are two to three things, Pete that we want family business owners to really think about and start to roll up their sleeves.

Pete Walsh
Well, I think you and I would both say, working on your business, not in your business. The first thing is you got your head down, and you’re producing results, carving out the time, whether weekly, monthly, yearly, quarterly to have some of these strategic conversations is the first thing.

The second thing is you need to have an ongoing assessment. I have the scorecard, the landmine detection map, I have some 50 skills assessments as professionals, and we need to sit down on a regular basis and gauge our performance and have a performance review. That’s a tricky thing in a family. You and I both know, in super well-run companies, you have a performance review and you set development goals. Those are some things to do to just step back and say, “Hey, how are you at the skills here, listening, having an open mind communicating? And what are one, two or three things you’re going to work on between now in our next time we get together? And then how are we going to hold each other accountable?”

I think, you know carving out the time, having some way to assess our current state, setting some developmental goals, those are different than business goals. Okay, I’m going to work on being a better listener with my people, and then finding ways to measure that. I think those are some important things they could start with. I forgot, have some fun. I just still believe life is short, my father left at 52 years old. Have some fun, if you’re not having a little bit of fun. When we have fun, where we’re better learners, we’re gonna have a better team. Bill Belichick is one of the best coaches on the planet and surprisingly he says one of our most important nights of the years are bowling and movie night. I thought that’s so weird for him because he’s kind of a bit of a dry guys, kind of a bit of a stoic guy with these families. I teach them how to practice having fun together, have a family meeting, and that takes years to develop. It really does. The first one or two, it’s real awkward. Second or third, he gets better. Fourth or fifth, they start to know what it what it’s like to interact with each other. Those family meetings are a really important thing.

Laurie Barkman
That’s really good. I want to talk to you about your grandpa. He is present in your book, which is really cool. Coach Pete’s grandpa’s timeless advice. You’ve got that in the back of the book. This is a good reason why sometimes I start by reading books from the other side. I don’t know why I didn’t do it with yours but a lot of times I do that. Here it is, these are letters from your grandpa in 1960 that you included in the book. Tell me about that.

Pete Walsh
I’m kind of getting choked up Thank you for bringing it up. My grandfather was trying to win the hearts and minds of the employees in the 1950s and 60s. He was writing to them about how to make this a great company how important it was, we had profit sharing, we had bonuses, and each part of the company said, I want this to be like your company, he even bought land and had the employees build summer homes up in the other part of the state. So they could all take a week or take a weekend and go up and have their own summer home up in the woods. I mean, he was just very, really into that.

When I was writing this book, I saw his papers and, and I told you earlier, he’s got the seven essentials for accomplishment and I showed it to Karen. I said, they’re still totally accurate today, make a list, be thoughtful, and learn something. I had this idea, which is like, “Hey, you’re going to be a co-author with me on this book.” When I got, and I always wanted to work with him. It was just like a dream come true on several levels.

I got the first copy of the book I wrote in the front cover, you’re a published author, 50 years after your death. It’s another thing I want to just put a plug-in for all of us. write in a journal, write a book, I know you’ve written a book, write these things, so that your children and your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren, I have these letters on my desk. Now luckily, we were a typewriter company. He was typing all these things, many of them, then I just feel like takes me back to him 100 years ago.Write down your thoughts and it was a real dream come true to get to work with him. Now, I think it’s a fun part of the book. And it’s timeless advice.

Laurie Barkman
Absolutely. Yeah. And then of itself, that’s a reason to get this book. There’s some timeless advice there. I really enjoyed that. And, Pete, if people want to get in touch with you learn more about what you’re doing, how you’re helping family businesses, how can they do that?

Pete Walsh
They go to familybusinessperformance.com. Pretty simple but there we have the landmine detection map. We have the family business scorecard, there’s a lot of videos, there’s just a lot of free tools. And you know, I’m 61 years old, and I love what I do and I feel very honored to get to do it. I want to impact as many families as I can while I’m still here.Take me up on the free tools, send me a note, ask me a question. I love getting to help families. I just really can’t thank you enough for letting me come here and just talk a little bit about it. I know we have a shared passion for this work. It’s just so important.

Laurie Barkman
I agree. I think that this our content of the books are very complimentary. We both share the opinion that family businesses need to be purposeful and have a strategic plan not only for the business, but for their future transitions because it can be more complex. It isn’t the kind of thing you want to kick down the can or kick to kick the can down to, you really need to start working on things proactively. The larger, more complex it is, of course, you want to have trusted advisors by your side and people like you, Pete, that really can help bring a sense of humor, bring a focus, bring frameworks, a playbook, and truly a valued coach. So thank you so much for joining me on Succession Stories today.

Pete Walsh
It was my pleasure. Could I leave you with a quote?

Laurie Barkman
Please do.

Pete Walsh
I like to say coach to win the leadership game because leadership is getting trickier than ever. I think our coaching mindset, being curious about what makes everybody tick, being curious about how we can get better is like if you can fall in love with that, then you really got something and it helps you get up and face the challenges of being a business owner every day. I really appreciate you letting me be here today. It was really fun.

Laurie Barkman
It was really fun. Thank you so much and to our listeners, thank you for all of your support. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show wherever you listen. Also, follow us on YouTube. If you want to maximize the value of your business and avoid succession pitfalls, reach out to me at thebusinesstransitionsherpa.com. Join me next time for more insights from transition to transaction here on Succession Stories. Until next time.

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