How to Sustain a Family Business Across Generations

      How to Sustain a Family Business Across Generations

      It can be tempting to assume the next generation is ready to take over your company and allow you to enjoy your twilight years, but you must ensure they have time to develop skills and realize their identity.

      Preparing the next generation for leadership is one of the hardest parts of running a family business. Whether the company has been run for several generations or just one until now, knowing when to hand over the reins to the next leader is a challenge. Identifying the proper person for the task, and strengthening them for it, is something many family business owners grapple with during their careers.

      Of course, not every family-owned business has a successor to take on the leadership responsibilities of the organization. Some company founders may not have children or other relatives they can rely on to run the business, and in other cases, relatives have no interest in taking the helm of the company. Senior leaders with their leadership transition mapped out are at an advantage, but they often worry about their relative’s ability to handle the upcoming challenges they know will arise.

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      About Entrepreneur

      Entrepreneur is an American magazine and website that carries news stories about entrepreneurship, small business management, and business. The magazine was first published in 1977. It is published by Entrepreneur Media Inc., headquartered in Irvine, California.

      Cowen Partners is the nation’s executive search firm, enabling companies to harness the power of human capital to fuel their success. Cowen Partners gives our clients access to the top 1% of human capital to create opportunities that accelerate their growth and market share. With Cowen Partners, clients can grow at scale, create value, and drive results with world class talent. Our clients are both small and large, publicly traded, pre-IPO, private, and non-profit organizations.

      Clients are typically $50 million to multi-billion dollar revenue Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite and include VP and director level leadership roles.

      With our proven processes and guaranteed results, we have successfully placed hundreds of candidates in industries including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, and private equity.

      About Shawn Cole, President & Cofounder

      Shawn Cole is a serial entrepreneur and executive leader with over 15 years’ experience founding and running successful companies. Shawn’s business career has been centered on value creation for both turnarounds and startups.

      Shawn is President and Co-Founder of Cowen Partners, a national CFO executive search firm focused on the key elements of a successful business: sales, marketing, and finance. Business clients across the country trust Cowen Partners to take their companies to the next level by finding them executive talent, such as a CEO, CFO, COO, Chief Revenue Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer. Clients are both small and large, publicly traded, pre-IPO, private, and non-profit organizations, typically $50 million to multi-billion dollar revenue Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $1 billion and $15 billion.

      An active participant in the business community and startup space, Shawn Co-Chairs The Cowen Partners Venture Fund which provides seed funding and early stage investments, focusing on market disruptors in niche markets, community businesses, and minority entrepreneurs.

      Shawn attended Oregon State University’s College of Business Austin Entrepreneurship Program and participated in a first-of-its-kind experiential entrepreneurship experiment at Weatherford Hall. He was also a Founding Member and President of Oregon State University’s Students in Free Enterprise, an international non-profit organization working with university students who want to positively change their communities and learn practical knowledge to become socially responsible business leaders.

      At the age of 16 Shawn became a volunteer firefighter and EMT, eventually founding and managing a half marathon to raise funds for the community. To date, the marathon is still a success and has raised over one million dollars benefiting the community.

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