Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Legendary Leaders Podcast

Feb 1, 2022


Are you a family business leader who wants to scale with your team intact? Succession planning is a crucial aspect of a family business and can only happen successfully when bold decisions are made, and talent development is supported.  

In this episode of the Legendary Leaders Podcast, we have Stephen Shortt, a Succession Planning Coach, Strategy Facilitator, Team Development Coach, Leadership Coach, and Personality Profiler. He’s the former Chair of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards which supports young, emerging entrepreneurs in over 50 countries. Stephen grew up in two family businesses and learned a lot about successful succession planning while making mistakes along the way.  

Listen in to learn about the 5Ps of succession planning; purpose, pick, prepare, promote and patience to do it successfully. You will also learn the importance of understanding how things change and go from the hero of your story to the mentor of the next generation story.  


This podcast is sponsored by InnerProfessional online training programs. With courses geared specifically for Legendary Leaders, InnerProfessional provides an extraordinary catalog of leadership and professional development programs unlike any online training you’ve experienced before.  


Key Takeaways: 

  • How to successfully create a succession plan where you all see eye to eye.   
  • Share both the positives and the negatives of your family business with your kids to give them a much rounder view of the business.  
  • Make the bold decision of going from the hero of your story to the mentor of the next generation story.   

Episode timeline: 

  • [1:13] Intro 
  • [7:00] Stephen’s experience with family businesses and why succession is crucial in business. 
  • [12:28] He describes the roles he started with to understand their family businesses.  
  • [14:55] How Stephen came up with a succession plan after being at odds with his family on how to run the business.    
  • [22:08] Start giving your kids/next-generation executives a well-rounded view of the business.  
  • [24:27] The 5Ps of succession planning; purpose, pick, prepare, promote, and patience.  
  • [33:05] How to help the next generation foster their story, which is different from yours.  
  • [38:45] He explains how the family business concept is transforming today.  
  • [41:09] Identify your strengths and weaknesses as a business before inviting external or family help. 
  • [47:28] The 4 things that can happen to a family business and why scaling is the important one.   


  • “With all family businesses, more often than not, the kitchen table and the boardroom table are the same piece of furniture, and you need to be able to sit down at both of them.”- Stephen Shortt [17:25]  
  • “If you’re the current generation looking to have proper succession, you should be doing this over a maximum of 5 years.”- Stephen Shortt [27:30] 
  • “Preparing the team and the next generation is fundamentally important; anywhere between 2-5 years is ideal.”- Stephen Shortt [29:00] 
  • “The first mindset that every current entrepreneur needs to have is to go from being the hero of your story to being the mentor of the next generation story.”- Stephen Shortt [32:50] 



Find | Cathleen Merkel 

On Instagram: @CathleenMerkel 

On Facebook: @CathleenMerkelCoaching 

On LinkedIn: @CathleenMerkel 

Find | Stephen Shortt 

Business (Killer Family Business): or 

On LinkedIn: and 

On Facebook:  




About Stephen Shortt: 

Stephen grew up in two family businesses - as well as starting a few of his own.  Having bought both family businesses from his parents and growing them internationally, Stephen learned a lot about successful succession planning - as well as making some mistakes along the way... 

Stephen is the former global chair of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards which supports young, emerging entrepreneurs in over 50 countries around the world - which was the basis for the Disney+ / National Geographic Documentary "Own The Room".  Stephen has also served on the global committee for EO Accelerator which supports entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses to €1m+ per year.  He was a founding member and is the current President of the Irish chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organisation. 

Stephen is a succession planning coach; strategy facilitator; team development coach; leadership coach and personality profiler. He has delivered keynotes, facilitated workshops and taught on leadership academies in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia and Oceana. 

Stephen is honoured to act on a number of advisory boards; as a coach for accelerator companies scaling up their businesses; as an angel investor and as a mentor to emerging entrepreneurs in Ireland and internationally. All of his projects, businesses and programmes feed into his core purpose "To help people Aspire to a better future and Empower them to get there". 

Stephen and his Spanish wife have two bilingual daughters and try to spend as much holiday time in Spain as possible. 

About Cathleen Merkel:   

As a Thought Leader in the Mindset & (Self-) Leadership space, Cathleen supports high achieving, but worn-out women create a more content & balanced life without sacrificing their hard-earned success. Following a simple 6 step framework, she helps you not only reconnect with your inner feminine side; Cathleen also supports you to rediscover your REAL YOU!  

Cathleen focuses on women who lost their sense of purpose, who feel they are running in a hamster wheel, trying to please everyone but themselves. She helps you to turn your careers, your social connections and personal life around so that you will start feeling fulfilled and excited again about the days to come.  At the end of the process, Cathleen's clients will feel healthier, happier, energised and clear about their future.   

With over 15 years of leadership experience in Retail, Media & Broadcasting, Engineering and Property Investment, Cathleen has not only experienced the challenges and opportunities of a female leader herself; she has also been leading and supporting various leadership development initiatives within large, complex, multinational matrix organisations.  

Only by deeply experiencing her very personal life challenges – ‘hitting a wall experiences’ –Cathleen was able to redefine her own purpose, deciding to bring ease and content to as many women as possible on the planet! 



Tune in here: