In this issue
Modesty, humility, simplicity. These are not just the traits of a good monk. They are also the essential attributes of a successful second or third generation family member who hopes to take over from a colorful leader one day.
There are many opportunities for a younger-generation president to become an effective chief. None of my suggestions will make the job easy, but they will give you a fighting chance to command respect — from family and nonfamily members alike.
I WAS ABOUT EIGHT YEARS OLD when I hauled my first bucket of cherries from the family fruit orchards near Caldwell, Idaho, at a place called Sunny Slope. The cherries weighed almost as much as I did. No matter. The Symms kids were in the fields when we were old enough to carry a bucket, and we worked under the same rules as the hired hands.
There was never any doubt that Carl Sewell would take over his family's car dealership in Dallas. But the timing came as a shock. Sewell's father died just two years after Carl joined the business.
That was unsettling enough, but what Sewell — then 26 — found, as he went into the office after the funeral, was even worse. In 1967, there were only three Cadillac dealers in Dallas, and Sewell Village Cadillac was a distant third in both sales and profits.
Something would have to change at the $10 million company. But what?