I recently wrote a list of the mergers and acquisitions I participated in over the years. Their numbers nearly match the new organizations or re-launch of organizations where I was privileged to play a part.
In any successful scenario, core leadership was a necessity. It might have been a sole entrepreneur. It might have been a team with interchangeable key players. The organizational form did not matter, but the steady, reliable, inspirational core leadership did.
Whenever this core disintegrates during the pervasive organizational change caused by a merger or acquisition, the anticipated value of the merger or acquisition is almost always lost. When core leadership remains clear it has a charge: to complete the transaction until the point a deliberate succession is enacted, the possibility of achieving potential value grows accordingly.
Too often, the core disintegrates because leaders have relatively short attention spans. Maybe it is because promoting organizational growth was a means to achieve personal success (once they have the money, they bail), or because they fundamentally misunderstand the perils and responsibility of leading well (getting a deal struck is the goal for them rather than making the deal work). The best leaders I worked with (I’m sad not to supply a long list of such persons), not only built long-term value for an organization, but built up people who care about building long-term value through people who care about long-term value.
It might be helpful to keep re-reading that last sentence until it starts to sink in.
-mark l vincent