The Third Turn

Written by Dr. Mark L. Vincent & Kristin Evenson
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Episode 36: Building Future Value with the Long-Term in Mind

Posted by Kristin Evenson on Dec 21, 2021 8:09:37 AM
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Building Future Value with the Long-Term in Mind
Episode #36 of the Third Turn Podcast with Don Bielen. 

According to our guest, Don Bielen, who facilitates business transition and succession planning for privately-held businesses, it’s critical to take a multi-dimensional approach. Yet most owners and families come focused solely on ownership and quite unprepared.

Don lays out four main components for business transition planning--ownership, operations, leadership, and governance. And he recognizes that there are personal, business, family, and estate objectives and challenges to navigate to achieve sustainable, long-term results.

Honestly? Don sees the non-financial considerations as ‘the pure drivers of what makes a transition successful.’  Things like:

  • A clear and grounding sense of purpose
  • Clearly defined roles, relationships, and expectations
  • Communicating without biases and preconceived notions
  • High levels of trust--the secret ingredient and often a significant undermining factor when it’s lacking

And for the transitioning founder/leader who might easily take a laser-focused view, success actually hinges on a more holistic and influential set of questions:

  • How will I navigate changes to my sense of identity?
  • What will my relationship to the business be and how will I spend my time?
  • How will this impact my successors, our customers, our employees?
  • How will it impact my family and what might be needed to prepare them?

Don comes by his passion for privately-held and family-owned businesses naturally, having grown up in one. And he admires the very unique role and up-close-and-personal contribution they make to employees, customers, and their communities.

As part of our Third Turn and Maestro-level leader conversations, we talk a lot about the need to build future value in order to ensure an enduring enterprise. How would Don Bielen define future value, in light of business transition planning? He sees it ultimately and actually about an owner’s emotional gratification and peace of mind--‘…knowing that what they’ve worked so hard to create over generations and decades, that that is going to be preserved, is protected and perpetuated.’

That’s a multi-dimensional, long-term view indeed.

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Kristin Evenson
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- Kristin Evenson


With each episode of the Third Turn Podcast we host a conversation among leaders who want the world to flourish for generations beyond their lifetimes.

Listening with others in some way and enjoying in-depth conversations of your own as you reflect and choose what you would do the same or differently is a plus!

We always welcome you sharing these podcasts with others as well as sending along any suggestions for making these podcasts better.

The Third Turn Podcast is part of the Maestro-level leaders initiative, a production of Design Group International. Strategically Connected's Jennifer Miller is the producer.


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Topics: governance, family business, leadership legacy, leadership transition, Maestro-level Leaders, The Third Turn, Maestro, relationships, Multi-dimensional transition planning, Privately-held business

Mark & Kristin
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