Ownership to Leadership – Epilogue, Part I

As mergers and acquisitions in the restoration industry continue, I’d like to share my own experiences as both a leader at an acquired company and then as a team member who helped onboard other newly acquired companies.

While getting used to their new realities, I saw a lot of the same struggles happen to a variety of owners. Although those acquiring companies in the restoration industry seemed to put a lot of effort into retaining and engaging their new staff, including the former owners, I truly wonder how many of those owners spent the mental time needed to prepare for the changes they were about to experience.

Many owners also have never worked for another “boss” or it’s been so long that they’ve lost touch with how it feels to think like an employee. This alone can cause serious disorientation for the former owner and confusion on the part of their previous employees.

Below are some thoughts I wanted to share as someone in the industry who has been lucky enough to work with a lot of fabulous owners who have thought about or made the transition away from owning their companies.

Before the sale. The acquisition process is detailed and requires a lot of attention and effort. By the end, many owners become so focused on just getting through it that they may not think very carefully about their next step.

As an owner, you need to identify what you enjoy most in the business. Is it selling your services, managing large projects, working through back-end problems, leading and coaching others?

It is likely the new company will have different opportunities than your company, so speak to your acquisition team about what realistic options are available for you. It’s fair for you to ask what the acquiring company sees as your role and for how long. They may need you to get your team through the change, and then you’re free to pursue your passion!

What are you the boss of? Post-acquisition,you will no longer be the boss of what you were previously. Sure, you might have similar duties, but you will now have a boss that you report to. If it has been a while since you were in this position, do you remember how to report to someone else? You also may not be the boss of the people you managed for many years.

You will need to work with your acquiring team to make sure everyone is navigating the changes together and with open communication. This is frequently as much of an emotional struggle for the previous owner as it is a reporting struggle. You don’t want to create confusion for your previous team. They, too, may now have a new reporting structure to figure out. If you mix in where you shouldn’t, the staff will be confused and it may affect their success.

Having your company acquired puts you in the unique position of being a great coach to people who once reported to you and to those they now report to. Your years of experience with your team will help the acquiring company to continue your success.

Related Posts

Employees Working Remotely

Managing and Leading Remote Employees

One of the most significant opportunities and challenges facing today’s managers is the ability to effectively manage and lead employees who are working remotely. Although this may change somewhat—going to

How AI plays a role in your 2024 sales playbook

The B2B Sales Playbook for 2024

The B2B sales playbook for sales teams has dramatically changed over the past three years, both for small businesses and large corporations. The most seismic change was brought about by

Productive vs Busy

Are You Productive Or Are You Just Busy?

I know you’re busy. Probably too busy to read this article, and your main decision on whether to attempt it or not doesn’t revolve around the strength of the content