Let Go

Newsletter No. 17 – May 3rd, 2024
Written by a human. 

“You only lose what you cling to.”

This one is for the holder-on’er. 

For those who are wary of what comes next. 

While it is important to prepare the next generation for ownership and leadership, just as much care needs to be afforded to those who must make way for them. Many of my clients struggle with how to professionalize the next generation, yet another looming (often overlooked) issue is how to gracefully ask mom, dad, uncle, or aunt to step back from the work that has defined their life, the work that created wealth, freedom, and purpose for so many.

Just as the next generation often craves the opportunity to step up, the leading generation, seeing their identity as inextricably linked to their work in the family business, grasps to hold on.

In 1886, the US Supreme Court case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad established that corporations are considered “persons” under the 14th Amendment for certain legal purposes. To walk away and entrust others to care for what they’ve work so hard on likely feels like an abandonment of that “person” as protected by the 14th Amendment.

For those of you in the leading generation… it’s ok to mourn the loss. 

It’s ok to struggle. 

However, it’s also important to understand the power of letting go.

“Holding on is the grasping hand that wants to preserve the past, but the past had its day. Release the past and create space for the new.” – author unknown.

For those of you in the next generation… give those who came before you the grace to navigate their loss. And, show them the utmost respect by doing all you can to prepare yourself to bear the mantle of responsibility that comes with carrying on their legacy.

– Josh Gentine

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