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Whatever you love, do more of it – The hardest part is letting go

Jeremy Gadd


Jeremy Gadd
Founder & MD of J Gadd Associates

You have now decided. You know what you love and you are going to do more of it.  You have clarity around your goals, a plan to deliver them, and you are ready to implement. With your finances all sorted you can now look forward and relax. Yet something is amiss.

It’s quite simple, yet impossibly hard… it’s letting go.

The business that you have spent years building, developing and protecting is now ready for handing on. Letting go is hard. Only you know the sacrifices you have made, the missed social engagements, the late nights and early mornings. No one else can possibly know what this feels like!

And yet you are not the first to feel this and no doubt will not be the last. It took Spedan Lewis from 1929 to 1950 to agree on a final trust settlement and hand over control of John Lewis to Partners. In fairness things were very different in the year leading up to 1950. The support structures and approaches such as ISOP simply did not exist. Although, I suspect even if they did, Spedan would have found it just as challenging to let go.

As a parent knows when their child first enters school or their teenager goes on a first date or when they leave for university; it’s hard to let go. Given all that they have sacrificed, it is understandable. Letting go is all about trust. As with parenting it’s not about trusting the next generation not to make mistakes, we all do. It’s about trusting yourself that you have equipped them well enough to learn from theirs. And it is the same for handing on your business.

This is often the hardest challenge… trusting yourself.

With my experience and expertise gained from inside Britain’s most successful co-owned retailer the John Lewis Partnership; reporting to a board Director, my role was to critique, challenge and support both leaders and Partners to uphold the principles of the Partnership that underpins their very commercial success. I know how tough it can be for leaders to trust. I can now advise, coach and support you through some of the most challenging decisions you have to make as you prepare to hand on your legacy to the next generation.

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