Episode: Life and Business After Succession

Michael Hyatt: Hi, I’m Michael Hyatt.

Megan Hyatt Miller: And I’m Megan Hyatt Miller.

Michael: And this is Lead to Win, our weekly podcast to help you win at work and succeed at life. Today we’re talking about succession and, specifically, what the experience has been like from Megan’s perspective and from my perspective as she succeeded me as the CEO of Michael Hyatt & Company, but if you’re not a CEO or you don’t plan to be a CEO, succession is still relevant.

Anytime you get a promotion, you’re going to leave a vacancy, and the person who takes that role is your successor. There are some things we’re going to say today that are going to apply even in that context. I’ve had situations in the past where I’ve done it well and times when I’ve not done it so well. The biggest challenge always as you move up is you are going to want to continue to do the same job, but you need to guard against that. So, we’re going to talk specifically about how to do that.

Maybe where we should start, Megan, is just talk a little bit about our unique context, which will give people an understanding, and I think as we apply this, it’s going to apply broader than our context. I want to ask you a very personal question. What were you most afraid of when you stepped into your new role as the CEO of Michael Hyatt & Company?

Megan: That’s such a good question, because probably anytime you’re in the middle of a succession process, again, whether you’re moving into the role of a CEO or not or maybe you were marketing director and now you’re going to become the chief marketing officer… Regardless, there are fears. In my case with you… Take the family business part of it out of it. I mean, you were a very seasoned CEO. You’d led a public company. You had been a CEO several times prior to that even. You obviously have 25 years on me as my dad. So, coming in as a first-time CEO, knowing I had really big shoes to fill and that our team would be expecting me to lead at the level you led at, albeit differently in some ways… That’s kind of intimidating.

Michael: I get that, but I would say, too, that a lot of that is how you frame it. I’ve been in contexts where I’ve succeeded somebody who was very old-school and I thought, “I’m bringing to this some more youthful energy and some more clarity that my predecessor didn’t have.” I think that’s true in this case also. I think you’re bringing a fresh new perspective to your role. That’s just my perspective on it.

Megan: It’s good to be honest about it, though, because that was certainly in my mind, and part of the process leading up to this, which was a couple of years plus in the succession process working toward this, but now more than a quarter in, has just been making it my own and letting that be okay. Like, “Hey, this is going to look different than what it looked like for you, and we can both be successful but in our own ways, and that’s fine.”

Michael: That’s exactly right. If I’m honest, if I look at what I went through, my past experience as an incoming CEO in a succession process that I thought we had had on the front end pretty defined, but about a day after I became the new CEO, the whole thing came off the rails, because my predecessor had not really planned for what he was going to do after he transferred the company to me, and he panicked and tried to go back to what he was doing before, which is he wanted to unseat me and resume his activities as the CEO.

The only problem was we were publicly held. It had been announced, it had been voted on, and the board was squarely behind me. It resulted in a couple of really rocky years, because he had a hard time letting go, and he was one of our biggest shareholders, so it wasn’t exactly an option for me to just kick him out the front door.

Megan: Gosh, that was so complicated. I remember when all that was happening. It was just wild. You’re telling it now and it’s in a neat little package, but when you lived it, it was obviously much more unnerving and much messier to navigate those waters, and it went on for a long time.

Michael: It did. Part of what made it so challenging was I had all of the same insecurities and challenges of being a CEO of a company that large and all of the challenges of running a company, trying to keep everything moving forward and meeting our financial projections and the market’s expectations and all that stuff. Meanwhile, in the background of my existence, I have this person who’s second-guessing me, who’s literally trying to unseat me.

One of the things I determined (and this is really apropos to this discussion) was that at the point at which I leave… In fact, I was able to do this at Thomas Nelson with my successor when I finally left the company. I said, “I’m going to make this as easy as possible for them. So, what have I learned from this very negative circumstance or this negative situation? What have I learned that will serve me and the people I want to serve going forward?” I wish this wasn’t the case, but it seems like, oftentimes, it’s going through an experience and having a bad experience that kind of sets us up to do something better.

Megan: It’s funny. Every time we have one of our BusinessAccelerator coaching intensives where our clients come in from out of town and are here for a day or I do a podcast interview or we have a live event, or whatever, people always ask, “Okay. But really, what’s it like? What has this succession been like?” Or they tell me their horror stories, whether it’s in their family or a business they worked in. Basically, no one thinks it ever goes well, and mostly, in people’s experiences, if they have had a firsthand experience, it hasn’t gone well.

I think that’s a great segue to what we’re talking about today, which is if you want to have a successful transfer of power, whichever end of it you’re on and whatever your context is (again, it doesn’t have to be a CEO transfer), there are basically four nonnegotiables we have come up with that have guided our own process and, I think, have made it possible for us to do this well, and I feel really grateful and proud as a result.

Michael: I do too. This leads us right into this first nonnegotiable, which is be clear on how your roles will change. Don’t just assume the other person understands. Don’t assume that even you understand. My predecessor when I was at Thomas Nelson… If he had been clear, and if he had written out exactly what he was going to be doing following the transition, it would have been smooth.


He would have been in a better position. I would have been in a better position. But we kind of had some unstated assumptions. He had some assumptions about how he wanted it to go. He just never bothered to say it out loud. Then, all of a sudden, it came out after the fact, and it came out sideways.

Megan: There are a couple of reasons this idea of being clear on how your roles are going to change is really truly a nonnegotiable. One reason is that inherent in any transition like this is a major identity shift. You, in this case, went from being the CEO of the company to being our founder and chairman and reducing the amount of time you spend in the business to three days a week from five days a week. That’s a huge change. Nobody really talks about this very much, but unless you sort of do business with the identity part of that, then you’re going to have problems.

Same for me. I went from operating the business… I was in the role of chief operating officer prior to this. I was running the whole business, but I was not responsible for the visionary component of the business. Certainly, you and I collaborated on that, and I am very futuristic by nature, and our work together tends to be collaborative, but it wasn’t my ultimate responsibility, and now it is.

Again, we’re still collaborative, but I have to always be out in the future. That was a substantial shift in my identity and my day-to-day work as a leader. If you’re not really clear on how this changes your identity and how it changes your day-to-day work, then you’re liable to get in each other’s way, overlap, usurp each other…all kinds of stuff.

Michael: Yeah. The change for me has been that I have to relinquish control, and I have to step back. That means that, specifically, there are certain meetings I’m not going to attend. There are certain things I’m not going to comment on. There are certain things I need to be at, but I need to be very thoughtful and intentional about it. It just takes a rethinking, and you have to be self-aware about it. To be honest, it’s not always that easy.

I can think back to last summer when I first started thinking about this whole idea of the transition, and I thought about going from five days a week to three days a week. For many of you, as you’re listening to this, you go, “Oh. That must be awesome.” Well, it is until you confront it, and you go, “But what am I going to do with my time? Does that somehow mean I’m less valuable, that I have less to contribute?” You have to work through all that stuff psychologically.

Again, to put this in a context where you’re not the CEO… Let’s say you’re the marketing director who’s being promoted to the chief marketing officer. There may have been decisions you made in the past that were decisions you made all the time, and you may have to recuse yourself from those kinds of decisions going forward so the person who is your successor has an opportunity to spread their wings, to gather themselves, and gain some confidence in making those decisions.

Megan: Practically speaking, I’ve had a couple of executives on my team hire new directors for their teams. So, all of a sudden, now they’re not needing to do certain tasks or have certain responsibilities they used to have. Those are now being delegated to the new director to own. I would say, in almost every case, it has been challenging. The good thing is we’ve talked a lot about it, but it has been challenging to figure out “Okay. Now what do I do? If I give my own job away, so to speak, then what?” It creates a weird period of liminal space.

I think it’s important to make space for that, to anticipate it, know that it’s normal and that you’re going to feel a little bit unmoored for a period of time. What I have recommended to them that they do is update their job description, make sure they’re very clear on the job description of the person who’s coming in, adjust their calendar accordingly so it reflects their new responsibilities, and then just be patient with themselves. Like, “Hey, it’s going to take a minute to get my sea legs here.”

Michael: You mentioned a concept. You kind of blew past it, but I want to unpack it a little bit. That’s the idea of liminal space. This is an idea that you and I took from Richard Rohr from his book Everything Belongs. He says liminal space is that space in between two states. The transom on your door is a liminal space. You’re not in the den. You’re not on the porch. You’re somewhere in between. Liminal spaces are very uncomfortable, but they’re also temporary.

You just kind of have to get used to the fact that in this liminal space, in this temporary space, there’s going to be some discomfort, as you put it, until you get your sea legs. (I didn’t know you used to be a sailor, but great metaphor.) You want yourself and the other person to get comfortable in your roles eventually, but that means discomfort at first, and that’s okay. Don’t try to make that feel okay faster than it needs to. It’s just going to feel uncomfortable, because, once again, you’re in that liminal space for a while.

Megan: And don’t panic. Don’t make any big decisions, like unfortunately your predecessor in your previous role did, where you try to make decisions from that place. Just let it be uncomfortable and let it ride for a minute. I think that’s the takeaway from that idea.

Michael: I almost felt like, for him, it was like if he were out on a frozen lake and, suddenly, he fell through, felt the icy cold water, and did everything he could to get back on the ice and get back to the shore from where he started.

Megan: Okay. That’s the first nonnegotiable: be clear on how your roles will change. The second nonnegotiable is establish regular check-ins. This is going to be true, again, for any professional transition that has happened, but particularly when you have a transition between a previous CEO or owner of a company and a new CEO with the previous CEO not having as much operating responsibility. Dad, in your case, you’ve intentionally chosen not to have any operating responsibility.

We have to be intentional about how we’re going to stay connected, because the danger, on the one hand, is that you could be too involved. That would be problematic. We’ll talk about that in a minute. But on the flip side, we could get too disconnected from each other as business partners, as you as the founder, and the vision could diverge too much from what your original intent was, and that could be its own problem. So, we really established a cadence of meetings we’re in that has really been beneficial so far. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?

Michael: Yeah, I do. I just want to say as a general principle, too, that in the absence of proximity, when you’re not together all the time, you start creating your own narrative about how things are happening or what’s happening, and if you’re not checking in on a regular basis, you don’t have the opportunity to recalibrate and make sure you’re on the same page. That’s where things start to spin out of control. When people are not talking, they tend to stop believing the best about one another, and they start inventing their own narratives, and it gets worse from there.

So, the pattern or the cadence we’ve established… We have weekly one-on-one meetings. In fact, we did it this afternoon. We have lunch together on Mondays. We don’t always have an agenda for that. It’ll just be issues we’ve accumulated during the week or just shoot the bowl or dream about the future, but it’s just a way of staying connected. The fact that we’re staying connected is more important than what we’re talking about.

Megan: That’s absolutely true.

Michael: Then the second thing is executive meetings, and these are your meetings with your executive team, but as needed. To be honest, there have been very few of those that I’ve been in, but occasionally… We’re having one tomorrow where we’re talking about a new initiative that was your brainchild, and you want me to buy into it.

Megan: Right. Get your input on it.

Michael: Yeah, get my input and make sure I’m getting the best opportunity to do that, to hear the full presentation and give input on that. So, to a lesser extent, there are certain executive team meetings, but here’s the thing (we’re going to talk about this in the next point): I don’t want to be in all of them. I don’t want people confused about who the leader of the company is.

Then quarterly financial reports. I’m not in the monthly meetings anymore. Quarterly is sufficient. I think of myself more now as the investor in the company. Yeah, I’m doing some things for the company, some front-stage work, but I’m more the investor or the owner, so just quarterly, I want a report on how things are going.

In every context I’ve ever been in, whether it’s running a public company or a company for private equity, or whatever, that’s kind of the minimal rhythm. Then we also do quarterly tax planning meetings, so we have financial advisers and tax accountants, and all that, in the room. So that’s another meeting, but I’m basically just trying to stay out of your hair.

Megan: In those quarterly financial report meetings, there are a few things we’re doing. I’m updating you with our CFO on our financial performance for the quarter. I’m updating you on our year-end projections, because that’s what we’re really interested in: how it’s looking through the end of the year. I’m updating you on our cash position, our cash flow forecast through year end at a high level, and then also on projected owner’s distributions through year end.

So, those are the four areas we’re covering that are kind of the template agenda for that meeting. Those are the things you’re concerned about with regard to “How’s the company doing? How’s it performing? How are we looking?” Those are all important things you need to stay updated on. This may be irrelevant, depending on your context. You might need more frequent meetings. You might need something different altogether, but in our case, this is really helpful.

Michael: Again, to put this in the context where you’re not the CEO… Let’s go back to the example of you’re the marketing director who got promoted to the chief marketing officer. You have to have regular check-ins. Here’s what you don’t want to do. You don’t want to abdicate (and I’ve done that in the past), where you christen the new person as the head of the department, or whatever, and then you just disappear, because you’re busy and you have all of these new responsibilities, and they’re left to fend for themselves. That’s not a good solution. So, you don’t want to abdicate, but by the same token, you don’t want to micromanage. You want to give them space, which we’re about to get to in a minute.

Megan: So, the first nonnegotiable: be clear on how your roles will change. Second nonnegotiable: establish regular check-ins. The third nonnegotiable is to give the new CEO or leader space to lead. I have to tell a little story about this. Then we’ll talk about some of these particulars that we have here.

When I became the CEO on January 1 or 2, whatever that first Monday was, one of the really interesting things was that you were gone for two weeks at that point. You were on vacation. I don’t even remember exactly why you took those two weeks off, what the rationale was for that, but looking back on it, it was so cool, because we had, first of all, prepared really well, so I didn’t need you during that time. It wasn’t like I was high and dry.

What it did was it allowed me to firmly establish myself as the leader of the company in front of our team, make decisions, just kind of have the ability to stretch my wings a little bit without you looking over my shoulder and feeling insecure or trying to navigate your emotions with my emotions. Fortunately, that has really not been an issue, but certainly, in some cases, you could at least feel like maybe it would be an issue. Anyway, it was a huge gift. I don’t know if that was intentional on your part from that perspective, but at least at some level, there was so much wisdom in that, and it was really a gift to me.

Michael: Well, I would like to tell you it was intentional, but it wasn’t. But I would recommend, if you are considering a succession in your company, that you be intentional about that. Just get out of town. Here’s what you don’t want to have happen. You don’t want to be in a meeting where people are looking at you, and they’re looking at your predecessor, and they can’t figure out who’s in charge or they’re not quite sure who’s giving the marching orders.

Just to add to that, the founder needs to back the new CEO in public. The new chief marketing officer needs to back the marketing director. Even if they’ve made a decision that you would have made a different decision, unless it’s something that’s catastrophic or egregious in some way, you have to back them, because if you allow any kind of crack in the armor, so to speak, or any kind of crack in the foundation, it makes everybody insecure.

What you don’t want to do is create a situation where you get triangulated, where people start coming to the predecessor and stir up trouble. I’ve experienced that on both sides. You don’t want that. You have to be absolutely aligned. This is very similar to parenting.

Megan: It’s so similar to parenting. You can’t have one good cop and one bad cop. Like, Joel will tell the kids, “You can’t have anything after dinner,” and I’m thinking, “But we made this really exotic soup that I knew they wouldn’t like, and I’m happy they tried it,” or whatever. But I’m like, “Okay. I’ve got to back him. He said they had to eat it.” It’s like that kind of a situation. You have to back the new leader so they’re not getting undermined in public, because it’ll undermine their authority and their ability to have authority going forward.

Michael: And if we’re honest, we have to say that I haven’t done this perfectly. I can think of a couple of examples, including recently, where I dropped the ball. Usually, it stems from a lack of self-awareness. I can remember posting something to the executive channel where I disagreed with you. I forgot for a minute the authority I used to have and kind of the command I still have. Thankfully, you were quick to call me out on it, and we got aligned behind the scenes, but, man, I’ll tell you, as the predecessor, the one who’s being succeeded, you cannot be too self-aware.

We had this situation even this last week where I said something to you that was kind of a throwaway idea for my part. I didn’t really think it all the way through, but it was very unsettling to you. I won’t go into the details, but you called me on it, and thankfully we got realigned. This is not easy, folks. This is something you have to be really thoughtful about.

Megan: It’s not easy. It’s so funny. I really feel like you’ve done this so well. I don’t even remember that situation in Slack you’re talking about or our executive team channel.

Michael: Good.

Megan: I literally don’t remember what you’re talking about. I feel like you have been very intentional, that you’re always so encouraging to me, both publicly and in private, and I’m really grateful for that. I also think we have really open communication, and when something goes off in some way, both of us will bring that up, so what we don’t have is this sense of things building up behind the scenes. We both trust each other in terms of our intention, and our heart toward each other is to be supportive and back each other. I think you’ve done awesome at this.

Michael: Thank you. I do think one of the most important things you can do is speak only positive things in public about the successor and about the predecessor. Whatever role you’re in, only speak positive things. This is one of the commitments your mom and I made early on in our marriage, that we were only going to speak well of each other in public, because we’ve been around couples where if you’re with one party to the couple, they’re complaining about the other party. First of all, it puts everybody in an awkward position. It’s not healthy, and it only reinforces them seeing their spouse in a negative light.

There’s an appropriate place for that, and that appropriate place would be your therapist or your pastor or somebody who’s brought in who can help solve the problem. But to make that kind of casual conversation to your friends, or whatever… I hate it. Here’s the effect it has on me. When I’m calling you out for the things you’re doing well, when I’m noticing those things and acknowledging it, guess what happens: it makes me see that and emphasize it even to myself. You know what I’m saying?

Megan: So important. Yeah. You kind of get more of what you notice.

Michael: Exactly. So, I think this is an important thing to do, and I think to realize too… The self-awareness on the part of the person who’s being succeeded is to realize that that other person, in our case, you, Megan… There’s going to be some natural insecurity as you begin, as you get your sea legs, so the more I can do to affirm you privately and in public, the faster you’re going to get the confidence you need to be able to execute at a high level, and that’s important.

Megan: You know what? That’s not just true at the CEO level. That’s true if you just hired a marketing director or a marketing manager or whoever on your team. They’re really looking to you, whether they say it or not, and they probably won’t. They’re looking to you, and they’re asking, “Hey, am I doing okay?” The more ways that you can say, “Yeah, totally,” the faster, like you said, they’re going to have the confidence to not need that anymore. So, I think that’s really important.

Another really key thing here around this third nonnegotiable, giving the new CEO space to lead… Part of the way the new CEO can ask for that or sort of be entitled to that at some level is by using what we call cascading communication between themselves and the founder (again, you can apply this to any context you’re in) to avoid surprises. I did this not very well recently.

We had a funny… It’s funny now, but I felt terrible in the moment. I had a big executive team meeting where I had a presentation from our marketing team about some really exciting initiatives they were thinking about. I’d had them working on them for a long time. It was an unbelievable presentation. It kind of went in a direction I didn’t expect. They overdelivered big time.

I was so excited about it that I had Erin, my chief of staff, shoot that video off to you. I was like, oh, he’s going to be so excited. “I just need your buy-in, and then we’ll move forward.” It was a big enough consideration that I really needed you to listen to it. Well, what I didn’t think about at all… Normally I’m good at this. I don’t know where my brain was on that day, but I didn’t think about the fact that some of the things we were talking about changing were personal to you. They were things you had created or things that mattered to you, that you had had a hand in.

From my perspective, I was at a 30,000-foot level. I was in the future. I was thinking about how great this was going to be. I mean, it kind of set you back on your heels for a minute. In retrospect… It all worked out, thankfully. It actually turned out to be really good and really exciting for our future. I did not think about cascading communication. Had I thought about that, I would have had that meeting with just the two of us receiving that presentation so you could digest it, think about it.

Then I would have presented it to the executive team and on down the line, so, basically, the most significant stakeholder, which is you in this case, would have heard about it first so you weren’t surprised hearing about it after 10 or 15 people had heard it. I think there are so many examples like that. I don’t want you to be surprised. I think being surprised, especially depending on your personality type, is not a fun feeling when you’re kind of flat-footed.

So, I think that’s one of the things… If you’re the incoming leader, you can really help your predecessor trust you and feel confident in your leadership by using cascading communication, going from the most senior or the most significant stakeholder on down through the levels either of stakeholders or kind of hierarchically in your organization, so they’re not surprised and flat-footed.

Michael: From my perspective, this is where you always have to assume positive intent. I was kind of rocked back initially, but then I thought, “Wait a second. These people are just trying to do what is best for the company and, frankly, what is best for my future. Nobody had any bad intent here. They’re trying to do the right thing, and I can see that. And, frankly, if I had been in the meeting…”

First of all, you didn’t even know what was going to be covered, so you couldn’t have covered it with me first. But where I got peace at it… I thought, “You know, if I’d been in that meeting, I really would have inhibited what turned out to be a very fruitful discussion.” I’m totally 100 percent on board, and we’ll be revealing it to you guys in the future. But it was a big initiative. I like the way it turned out. I think it was really good. Not by design, but we retrofitted it with that.

Megan: That’s right. Okay. The last nonnegotiable, the fourth nonnegotiable, is to act as a strategic adviser and coach. So, this is the predecessor to the new leader. I just want to say you have done such a fantastic job of this. You’ve done this throughout my entire time at Michael Hyatt & Company. Actually, long before that as a parent. But in particular, as we were preparing for the succession and then after, I feel like this is your most valuable role. You’ve often said I’m your most important coaching client.

Not only do I feel that, which is super honoring, but when you are a new leader, the person who preceded you may be one of the few safe places you have to share your struggles and ask questions of someone who has done it before. They’ve been where you are now. What happens when you move up is you lose peers. All of a sudden, if you’re the CEO, for example, you don’t have any other peers within the organization. There are things you can’t talk about with anybody.

This, again, is true regardless of what the context of your succession is. So, I’m really grateful for that. I also think you’ve been intentional about helping to build my confidence, but you have not rescued me. We were just talking today about a meeting I have coming up that is a big, high-stakes meeting, and you were really encouraging to me about it, but you’re not going to take the meeting for me. I’m going to still do the meeting, and I think that’s important.

Michael: I think it’s important as well. I saw this in parenting. I went from the parent who told the kids what to do to suddenly being a friend. The days are past when I can tell my daughters what I think they should do. What I can do as a parent is be a strategic adviser and a coach. I can ask good questions. I can help them come to their own conclusions. There are some days I do this better than other days, but one of the things I always want to be able to do with you is…

I don’t need to have the right answers. You don’t need my advice. What I need to help you do is think through the right questions and just help you get in touch with what it is that you want, because you’re an enormously capable leader. You don’t really need advice. You just need the space to be able to think things through in a safe space where somebody who loves you and who is for you can maybe ask some questions you haven’t considered so that you’re making a better, more full-orbed decision.

Megan: Absolutely. You’ve done a great job of that. I also think you’re a really good listener. Leading is hard. There are days that are certainly hard, when things don’t go according to plan or something goes wrong. It’s nice to be able to have a safe place to vent or to just share your frustrations that you know you don’t have to manage the other person’s feelings because they don’t report to you. There are no entanglements in that way. So, I think that’s another piece that is kind of in here as well. Sometimes just being a soft place to land is a gift as well.

Michael: Yeah. We have a funny story internally. We may have told it on the podcast before. Neal and Carly… Neal is on our staff. He’s a marketing director for us, and his wife is a psychotherapist. When they get involved in an exchange where one of them is venting, the other one will ask, “Do you need a repairman or a trash can?”

Megan: Oh, that’s so good!

Michael: I think that’s so powerful. When you’re having a conversation with somebody… As somebody who has been a CEO before, you naturally go into “fix it” stage, and you want to fix everything right away. “Let’s be efficient with our time and get to the answers we need to.” But sometimes you just need to ask, “Do you need me to fix that or are you just venting?” I like the repairman/trash can analogy. I even use this now with my wife Gail. I’ll just say, “Do you need a trash can or do you need a repairman?” If she needs a trash can, then I just let her talk.

Megan: I love that. It’s so great.

Michael: Okay. Again, if you want to have a successful transfer of power and succession, we’ve shared with you four nonnegotiables.

  1. Be clear on how your roles will change. In fact, get it in writing if you can.
  2. Establish regular check-ins. What is going to be the cadence or the rhythm of your meetings?
  3. Give the new CEO or give your successor space to lead. Get out of their hair. Don’t abdicate, but don’t micromanage.
  4. Act as a strategic adviser and coach. Realize that your role has changed and embrace it.

So, Megan, as we bring this to a close, I want to ask you… What are you most proud of in this process, the process we’ve just gone through?

Megan: Well, I think I’m most proud of how we’ve honored our relationship with each other and how we’ve been intentional as we’ve walked through this process. Like I said earlier, so many people come up and tell me their horror stories of succession, or their fears, or whatever, and I feel like your intentionality behind this process, as well as (as I was telling somebody recently) your humility in stepping into this…

So many people never even want to have this conversation because it’s all about their pride and their legacy, and they don’t want to think about any of that coming to an end, so they just never have these conversations. I think you have stepped into that with courage and bravery and humility and intentionality, and I think that has paved the way for us to do this well, which is a great example to our clients and our audience. I’m glad for that. It’s always nice to have a good example.

Most of all, we’ve been able to do this because of our commitment to each other in a way that really honored each other. I don’t feel like our relationship has been at risk. In fact, I think it’s even better and stronger on the other side of this, which not everybody can say. We have the added dynamic of this being a family business. So I feel really proud of that. It’s neat to see. Hopefully I can repeat that someday with my own kids.

Michael: I would agree with everything you said. I also would say and emphasize we haven’t done it perfectly, but the thing I’m the most proud of is the resilience we’ve had and the ability to recover. When we’ve fallen down, screwed it up, whatever (more in my case than yours), we’ve been able to recover and bounce back.

We’ve allowed each other a lot of grace and, again, assuming positive intent, and it’s working great. The story is not over yet, but I have every confidence that the company is going to go on to greater and greater heights. It already is. I’m just amazed when I see the team you’re building and what you guys are achieving and the dreams you have. It’s just fun to have a front-row seat, complete with popcorn, and be able to cheer you on.

Megan: Well, I hope you guys have enjoyed getting this bird’s-eye view into the succession process, particularly from my perspective as the incoming CEO. Hopefully you can learn from our mistakes and also our victories and it can inform your own journey when the time comes, whatever that context may be. All right. We look forward to seeing you right back here next week. Until then, lead to win.