Robert Kuok is a Malaysian-Chinese entrepreneur with an estimated wealth of $19.4B in the Bloomberg Billionaires’ Index as of January 31 making him the 38th richest person in the world.
And how did he do it? While there are a few who just concentrates their energy on the business they are engaged in, Kuok also placed his eggs in different baskets then closely watched over it. Talk about multitasking.
Yes, empires start with a strong foundation… grow, diversify, and for good ones – live. At the forefront of this foundation is Foresight. Timing. Hard work. Innovation. Then what have you? Of course, able lieutenants to carry on the Vision.
For 89 year old Kuok, there’s still a lot left in him but then with advancing age, it’s obviously about time to think about the anointed one. Who, or what should be in the ideal successor?
• Concern. Specially for a Founder, it’s a must that the successor has the heart for the business. Your children or relatives could be ideal choices, though it may not always be the case. In some instances, they are really not interested in your ventures or worse, they could just be in it for the money.
• Philosophy. While concern is about the heart, philosophy is about mentality. For if you only have concern but don’t agree with the organization’s direction, the empire could fall. As the Leader, those principles and values running in your head should coincide with the corporate’s Vision. This is why there’s this thing called Fit.
• Smarts. This is more than just a bachelors, and not even a postgraduate degree nor relevant experience. This essential is a combination of life experience, raw intelligence, and business understanding. For whether you recognize it or not, business is simply courage and common sense.
In the end, if you’re too rigid where you may only see the surface, getting radical would be a good way to sift that “deserving” successor – relieve your short-listed candidates from their positions for a while, and see how they’d go about it. Don’t worry, you’re still the overall head. You should be able to veto or overrule whatever decision that may be disadvantageous to the conglomerate.
If it’s all negativity among the candidates, it’d be better to open the field to trusted and competent people while having your close kins on the sidelines. Otherwise, you got your man, and rest assured – the empire would live on.
What’s your take?