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At The Crossroads. In today's precarious business climate, the leaders are face to face with risk on steroids.

The Anatomy of Failed Succession.

True Stories. Read succession case studies.

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Baptism By Fire Forges A Family Legacy

Daniel Richards is fresh out of business school and working for the family business, when his father dies suddenly. Overnight, Daniel finds himself at the helm of a multimillion-dollar company. With little understanding of company structure, minimal experience and even less confidence, he turns for help to company COO and longtime family friend. Soon he learns the truth. The company faces hidden threats not visible to others; and he quickly realizes he’s at risk of losing everything that his grandfather and father worked their entire lives to create. With this legacy in the balance, the bank breathing down his neck and investor and employee confidence waning, he must discover the inner resources and faith to fix both his company and himself before it’s too late. Ultimately, his story teaches crucial lessons for personal and professional success—a must-read for those beginning their business journey or those who have logged many years of experience. Business Matters addresses real life and covers more critical business issues than most graduate-level courses.

Authors' Note: As our nation continues to come to grips with economic reality, some of our friends agree that living through a long recession can be a good thing if we get back to our roots of hard work and pride in our own accomplishments. There are some good signs. A growing number of people are starting their own businesses. Many have started to save again; some married couples are deciding who will stay home and raise kids and who will work one or even two jobs to ride out the storm. By necessity, some are discovering new careers through continuing education. And many others are accepting a variety of odd jobs to make ends meet to counter the end of unemployment insurance.

Possibly we will see the advance of the next “greatest” generation as exemplified by our hero in Business Matters, a young man thrown into the breach. He could have taken a path of least resistance. He could have cashed out. But he faced his fears and learned the valuable lessons of leadership and life.

Before collaborating on this book, we have been good friends and advisors to each other for over 15 years. We have helped each other, our associates and our clients to resolve critical conflicts and succession strategies.

Diane Ludgate Love, PHD
Dickson C. Buxton, Chartered Financial Consultant

What Others Say About This Book

"Love and Buxton have written a touching story that feels real, and has great lessons for dealing with the challenges of transitions in the leadership of a family business."

Gerald M. Czarnecki, Chairman & CEO, Deltennium Group, Inc.

"When I received the book in PDF for review, I wondered to myself if I would ever get to it. Over lunch by myself an hour later, I sped through the first few chapters on my iPhone and struggled to break away to get back to work. I finished the book that night in one sitting. I loved it. I couldn't stop. Though my father was a brilliant businessman, an enlightened mentor, and an exemplar business perpetuation planner, many of the themes in the book resonated with me. If you are young and working in a family business, you will love this book. If you are running a family business thinking you will never retire, you NEED to read it. Enjoy!"

Edward D. Sultan, President, CEO, Na Hoku, Inc.

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Lessons in leadership and Life”. The book kept my interest from the first chapter as I felt like I was part of their family business and empathized with Dan. Business Succession planning is extremely important to any business and the family involved in that business. Hopefully, business owners can slow down for a few minutes to read this book and then prepare accordingly."

David Hoff, CLU, ChFC, CFC, Managing Partner, First Heartland Companies

"Amazing book -- insightful- forward looking.”

Dr. Larry Barton, President, The American College, Brynn Mawr, PA

"This book is a winner, very well written and a captivating story that reminds us of the importance of achieving balance in life. As I completed each chapter I couldn't wait to read the next. A person will discover valuable lessons in business (especially family business) as well as important lessons in life. The book inspires and instructs important lessons for success."

Boyd Baugh, Founder, and Chairman, Pivot Interiors, California

"This was a well written and compelling story that reminded me of my second generation transition. It was tough to put down as it could have been about our company as all of our employees, management team and my son have a shared vision. An ESOP can be an important component to assure success in the next family ownership transition."

Greg Owen, Head Coach, Ability Tri-Modal Transportation Services

"Lessons in Leadership and Life presents essential lessons in an engaging story for both new and established business leaders. This book covers all the bases. It demonstrates the importance of leading from the front, respecting, challenging and growing the abilities of your people. Recognizing that as a leader your actions reflect on so much more than yourself. Stressed is the impact of attitude on success along with the critical ability to recognize the motivations, good and bad, of people. The consistency of timely planning and being true to your word is essential. The perils of nepotism and poor succession planning are clearly apparent. The ability of tools such as ESOPs, in certain business situations, to increase morale, reduce turnover, provide tax advantages and foster growth are considered as well. The bottom line: more critical business lessons are covered in this quick read than in most under-graduate and even graduate level courses!"

Joseph E. Frack, CPA, CGMA, Chief Executive Officer, Society of Financial Service Professionals