Situation: A CEO is considering her exit strategy between five and ten years out. She wants to do what is best both for her, the company and her employees, assuring that both personal and company needs are met and the company is ready for transition. What are your five- and ten-year plans?
Advice from the CEOs:
- The personal side and the company’s future are closely linked. The solutions and strategy must fit both the CEO’s priorities as well as those of the company. By looking at the CEO’s role, the current and future needs of the company, and any changes that need to be made, the CEO is preparing for an eventual exit.
CEO must decide what lifestyle she wants – both as she prepares for eventual
exit and as she prepares the company to continue under new leadership.
- She must decide what she wants to do with her time in an ideal world. What will make her happy as she prepares for the future?
- This must be considered both for herself and her business partners. Have conversations to align both business and personal expectations.
- Conduct a strategic planning retreat on the future of the company as well as the transition of leadership.
- Have a talk with significant others to align personal expectations.
- What changes in leadership are necessary to implement the plan? What are the key roles and who will fill them? What is the succession plan for each key role? Are current personnel in place to fill these roles, or is additional hiring and training necessary?
- Consider an ESOP or a virtual stock program to enhance employee incentives and sense of ownership in the company’s future.
what exit means on a personal level.
- Transitioning from founder to leader gets the CEO more involved in the company.
- Meditate on priorities and engage in ongoing discussions with key personnel to jointly plan the future.