Dave Pratt

Most people assume that the biggest estate planning fights involve “Who will own what?” It’s been my experience that “Who will run what?” is often a bigger issue. “Who will own what?” is usually a question of perceived fairness. To heirs, “Who will run what?” is a question of  respect.

If you have a family ranch, whether you know it or not, you have a family employment policy. At least your kids think you do. In the absence of a formal, written policy, kids often grow up with the expectation that regardless of their education, experience or talent, there will be a role for them in the family business.

University of Wyoming Extension agent and Ranching For Profit School instructor, Dallas Mount, recently led a management succession workshop in Baggs, Wyoming. Dallas is a gifted, innovative teacher, and I was flattered when he asked me to participate in the program.
Dallas did a great job of distilling successful succession into five core areas:

In a recent Three Secrets For Increasing Profit® workshop I asked participants how much profit they want to make. It is an important question because you can’t hit a target that doesn’t exist and it’s impossible to build an intelligent plan unless you have measurable goals.

The start of the new year is a time for resolutions and fresh starts. Do you have a habit you want to drop or one you’d like to develop? Whether you are trying to adopt a new one or drop an old one, change is hard. Good intentions aren’t enough. It helps to have people supporting you.

Naughty and Nice

What criteria does Santa use to determine who’s naughty and who’s nice? There aren’t many people who are completely naughty and even the nicest people slip up now and then. It all seems pretty subjective to me. I’ve got a few ideas for Mr. Claus, a long-time ProfitTips reader, that would make these decisions easier, increase his confidence that he’d made the right call and alleviate the stress for everyone concerned. It would also be useful if one of the kids on his naughty list took legal action.

There are some things that don’t change very much …  there are others that do. Social media for example. Ten years ago had anyone heard of a Social Media Coordinator? But with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and all of the other things out there, how is anyone, supposed to keep up with it all and still run a business? These are all new tricks and when you are an old dog like me you need help with that stuff. Earlier this month we got help.

This is an exciting time of year for me. Thanksgiving is awesome, and I have a lot to be thankful for. But that’s not the excitement I’m feeling right now.  The excitement comes right after calves are weaned and cows preg-checked. Why is that so exciting? (I’m glad you asked.)

I reviewed articles in Harvard Business Review, Forbes and Fast Company on resistance to change. The articles laid out the 12 reasons, the 10 factors and the 5 keys to resistance. The more I read, the more convinced I am that they have it ALL wrong! 

No, Not that wall. I’m thinking of the emotional walls we build that divide us from one another. When it comes to building those walls we are master carpenters. We are so good that we build walls without even knowing we are doing it.