SBM Articles


The Success of Succession

by Dr. Deb Carlin

Life is approximately 20% mechanics and 80% psychology. With this being a reality, why do we so routinely leave the emotional side of planning out of the strategy?

Succession planning is an activity that most company owners would prefer not to deal with because it prompts angst. Time and again, an owner puts off the meetings, much the way people delay writing a will. There are all sorts of reasons for these avoidant behaviors, but emotions are at the core — the main one being fear.

The lawyers handling these cases for succession planning would serve themselves and their clients well by inviting psychology into the process. A psychologist is an expert in human behavior, the understanding of it and how to move a person from one emotional state into another.

Life is a series of emotional experiences, and the secret to a happy and productive life is simply knowing how to navigate the mind to have thoughts and perceptions that produce productive emotions. We do indeed have a choice about our emotions since we are the creator of our thoughts.

As you think of your own succession plan or your clients’, do you find yourself eager or anxious? Several recurring themes emerge in the opening steps of succession planning: maintaining company morale, determining whom to promote into which positions and timing.

Knowledge is power, right? Using your mind to take the knowledge you have and imagine the most desirable outcomes is equally powerful. Give yourself time to daydream, literally, about a successful succession process. Allow yourself to get comfortable with the creation of a new reality in your life — what you’ve created thus far has been magnificent and successful, right?

Dr. Deb Carlin is president of Partners In Excellence LLC. Awarded numerous accolades for her leadership, writing, speaking and teaching, she holds an MS in statistical analysis and research methodology and a PhD in psychology, both from Saint Louis University. “Build the Strength Within” was her 11th book. For more information, visit

Submitted 5 years 116 days ago
Categories: categoryBuilding Inner Strength
Views: 3314