This is NOT Your Story.

The Good Enough, The Bad and The Ugly Behavior – Jan. 30, 2019


Boss Legacy had a plan. That plan included his son stepping into the role of CEO one day. Boss loved being able to see his son every day at work but also the knowledge that the business Boss built was going to provide for his son’s kids. “Eventually. I mean after he met someone, settles down and HAD kids.”

Boss Legacy had started Employee Sonny on the shop floor.  He had worked well for a few years with the floor team and transitioned easily into the supervisor role. After a position in the design section of the company opened up, Employee Sonny moved there. Boss Legacy wanted him to have experience within the whole company. While he WAS excellent at the AUTOCAD designs, lately Employee Sonny had been late and even arguing with people. Nothing too serious but something must be bothering Employee as that was not really his style. Boss put it on his list to follow up with Employee soon.

Boss Legacy was working with a Hiring Strategist (yes…Boss Actions!) and discussed his succession plans for the company as a part of the company structuring planning session. Boss off handedly mentioned to the Expert the current issue with Employee Sonny. 

Expert praised Boss’ intent to discuss what was going on with Employee Sonny but asked a question that stopped his thought process in its tracks!

“Boss Legacy, have you asked Employee Sonny if this is what he wants to do with his life? Does he want to run the business?’  asked the Hiring Strategist




Boss was befuddled by the concept and discussion he and the Expert had had regarding succession from within a company. He set the meeting with Employee Sonny for the very next day. Boss Legacy created an open and honest conversation with the “person Sonny” instead of just the “Employee Sonny”. 

He wanted to know what interested Sonny. Boss asked what he enjoyed doing and what he thought about taking over the business.

“Maybe someday to help you out but….” And that was when Boss Legacy learned he had been building on a plan that had not considered what the employee may want for their own future. Boss had never asked Employee Sonny what he wanted.



Yes, most employees would love the keys to the kingdom. Some would even love the pre-planned laid out track of advancement throughout the whole company. But not everyone. It can be easy to assume you understand a family member’s future or personal desires. But a Boss has to ask…again and again.

Boss Legacy found out that Employee Sonny enjoyed the switch from Floor Supervisor to working the AutoCAD design software and, as it turned out, that Sonny was very interested in art. Boss had made assumptions that Employee Sonny enjoyed working in the company because he was so good at it. In fact, Boss found out that Employee Sonny did not love supervising all the people he grew up around.  He found the transition difficult and stressful but did not want to let Boss down.

Whether a family member or another employee that a Boss “sees possibilities” within, a Boss still has to be able to have direct and personal conversations about what a person wants for their future. There are plenty of people that would NEVER want to be a Boss – whether they grew up with the people or it was a brand-new group.  The assumption that employees want the same things as the Boss would want will have you missing the mark – on culture, compensation and organizational structure – and possibly ruining the company.

Employee Sonny applied to art school with Boss Legacy’s blessing. Boss Legacy developed an organizational structure based upon what the company needed for success and sustainability and then hired the best possible people for each role. 6 years later that company is still rocking and Employee Sonny has not come back to work at the company. The whole family is doing great too!




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