Legacy by Design LLC.

Cultivating Multigenerational Success in the Agricultural Community

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Build Success through Mentor/Protege Relationships

November 10, 2015

My work brings me face to face with the very best agripreneurs in the nation. As a succession planning professional and a subject matter expert for the media, I’m paid to learn the hows, whats and whys of entrepreneurial success. Every encounter is a learning opportunity. Most stretch my rather conventional brain beyond normal dimensions and allow me to absorb some facet of business, succession or family that I’d hadn’t otherwise fully appreciated. Some visits take me by su...

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A Real Leader

June 5, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® “What is leadership?” That age old question has been teasing us for generations. Gurus often cite the characteristics of a leader. Others quote famous passages from field generals of yore, and still others share examples of respected titans of business they hope will exemplify the leadership qualities we all aspire to. Yet, the question itself is almost unanswerable. But, a person can learn leadership skills. He can act in a leaders...

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Your Vision is the Promise

May 29, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® He came in to discuss succession planning. Jim had just inherited his grandfather’s farm. Though not a farmer by trade, his background in equipment repair caused him to know just enough to be dangerous. The first component of a comprehensive plan is a sustainable business model, so I outlined the premise for our discussion and he launched into an explanation of his situation. The ground had been fallow for most of the last forty years. Some...

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Ready, Willing, and Prepared

May 21, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® Without a plan for assimilation, even a well-educated, career tested, son or daughter will suffer a lack of respect and tests of authority from an operation’s existing leadership team. In succession, we often work through the ‘parents to partners, children to colleagues’ transition. But we rarely discuss overcoming the challenges of introducing a next-generation family leader into a current leadership team. There’s a natur...

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The Family Business

May 11, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® To work on the farm is to work in the family business. For your adult children, with families of their own and real life responsibilities, the decision to come home is often based on dollars and cents more than desire and raw emotion. So, you must create the assurance of future opportunities and the security necessary for them to raise a family. To do so means establishing a more business-like structure on the farm than may exist today. Young p...

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Farmer as Leader

April 10, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® The succession planning process can be difficult. It can be intrusive, and uncomfortable. But it also can be the single greatest achievement for a family business owner. It’s just one of the many challenges you’ll face in growing your operation forward. Though each person’s methods for coping with these challenges may be different, the leadership characteristics necessary to achieve success are eternal.   The character of ...

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Multigenerational Success is the Goal

March 27, 2015

Like the half-filled glass of water, for a dedicated business owner it’s either the end of a year or the beginning of the next. Is now the time to commit to the succession planning process? Lately I’ve been working with family operations to define roles/responsibilities related to growing capabilities across the management team. Though a big exercise, it starts with commitment and each step along the path helps the people involved prepare the next and the next one after that&...

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5 Benefits of Mentor/Protege Relationships

March 11, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® Though they come in many different forms and from a variety of experiences, a mentor is far more than a luxury for those who aspire to extraordinary achievement. A mentor, be it a family friend, distant relative, experienced neighbor, classroom instructor, co-worker, or written biography, can give guidance and lend confidence to an aspiring leader. A mentor should be standard equipment for every protégé desiring to make a difference....

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It's Never Just 'Once and Done'

January 26, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® The demands of a changing industry, the needs of a growing operation, and the desires of family business owners require a leader who’s engaged in professional growth and personal development. A leadership development plan should be in writing, not just a concept. If it’s not written, it’s not real. A comprehensive plan includes components of: Education – formal classroom study, seminars, and relevant wor...

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How Important is a "Key Person"?

November 5, 2014

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® "Key person" is a rather self-explanatory term. Any person who performs a critical function and/or offers a unique skill may be a key employee. When used loosely, people think of a long-term or loyal employee, but that’s not necessarily the case. A well-seasoned employee may add value to the organization, yet not necessarily provide a ‘key’ element to its continuing success. A key person is crucial to operational...

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What's Your Value Proposition?

October 3, 2014

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® Every family operation requires leaders with a variety of skills and a diversity of interests. Tomorrow’s leaders will fill positions and do jobs that aren’t even defined today. So, how do you measure up? Do you have the skills and abilities necessary to help grow the operation? Being fair to yourself and straightforward regarding the depth and breadth of your capabilities, consider your value proposition – what are the quantifi...

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