Finding Success #succession

Richard Shrapnel's Orienteering Succession blog

One of the greatest challenges for new generation family members entering a family business is gaining a feeling of success. The family is successful, and the business is successful, but what about them, in what may lie their success. This need to be successful is often discounted or ignored by established family members, but it is real and if not addressed can result in failed succession processes and broken family relationships.


Active Knowledge Question:

When was the last time that you expressed your pride in what your children have achieved?


For the parent:

Being a member of a family in which your parents have achieved stellar success can be extremely challenging. As a child, you seek the endorsement of your parents for your efforts, not platitudes but an honest, sincere acknowledgement of what you have attained through your personal efforts. Self-confidence is initially founded in affirmation and built from this cornerstone.

But in the rough and tumble of business, there can often be more failures than successes, and in family businesses often a younger family member’s efforts to contribute can be blocked or ignored. Sometimes change and new ways are not openly accepted in established family businesses.

And in the busyness of business, the efforts of the younger family member to gain attention and recognition can be missed or worst ignored in the context of ‘business is tough’ so toughen up. Care must be taken in the manner in which family members are inducted into a family business to allow them to find a solid footing from which they may grow. To do otherwise is to put at risk family relationships, and possibly future success plans.

Plan, guide and mentor the creation of success in younger family members, not falsely, but by bringing your experience to bear on their journey.

For the younger family member:

Success is the fuel of life, but it does not come through chance. It is earned through hard work and is your reward for the thought and effort you put in.

It takes wisdom to set the right goals for you as an individual and to not be led by others, marketing hype, popular beliefs or societal pressure. It often requires courage to take that first step, and each step thereafter, building a powerful momentum. And it always requires strength to endure through the inevitable challenges and obstacles until your goal is won.

And success comes within. Only you can make yourself successful through your beliefs, thoughts and actions. Success cannot be given to you by others. Success has absolutely nothing to do with what others think of you or measuring your achievements against others. Never measure your success against others as they are not you and you will not achieve your potential by watching someone else.


Every person needs and should feel success in their lives. In a family business, that becomes a family task where everyone should encourage and support all others to become successful, and through such success, the family will thrive.



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All the best in the success of your business,

Richard Shrapnel