Preparing For The Unthinkable

Uncategorized Feb 22, 2016

I just learned of the loss of an amazing leader, resource and icon in the GovCon industry.  Willie Davis was the Master Connector and loved helping build business within the community.  He didn’t know this, but he was one of my mentors.

I interviewed with his first company, Birch and Davis, many moons ago when I was starting my career in Accounting. While I decided to take a different position, I remained impressed with and by Mr. Davis and his business savvy.  I’ve followed his footsteps and his footprint throughout the years. He certainly changed the way business was done.

In the most recent years, I participated in his networking events and watched while he brought Government and business together.   His programs have been a part of my strategic networking plan for a very long time.  Mr. Davis will absolutely be missed but not forgotten.

Mr. Davis is the second icon we’ve lost this month of February alone.  Scott Orbach with EZ GSA was also a major player, leader and game changer in the industry.  We have all been blessed by the expertise and opinions of these phenomenal individuals.

These losses bring me to the question I ask every business leader I have the pleasure of serving.  It does not matter where they are in their business cycle, it is critical that they know the answer to this question and have an action plan in place to make it happen.

That question is:  what is your exit strategy?

Preparing to exit your business is more important, in my opinion, than entering your business.  Having a plan to exit the business requires that you HAVE a purpose and you LEAD with purpose. Having a plan to exit the business establishes a road map that ultimately leads to a bankable, scalable, sustainable and ultimately sellable business.

In my career of helping small businesses grow, I’ve had the unfortunate experience of working with two other business leaders who passed away instantly and unexpectedly and neither leader had a plan in place.  Had a plan been in place, the transition to close those businesses or to transition leadership would have been smoother and seamless and most importantly free from burden or panic from family, employees, customers, partners, vendors and colleagues.

As CEO, if you want your business to survive and thrive without you or even in spite of you, here are two basic things you need to have in place.


In order for businesses to survive and thrive without you or in spite of you, it is critical that you have well documented policies and procedures in place for every critical business process.  Well documented policies and procedures allow for smooth and seamless transitions.  Consider these policies and procedures to be the storybook of your organization.  They make it easy for someone to pick up the book and step in behind you to take over where you left off.  Well documented means little to no training is required.  Many companies invest in process improvement training and appraisal programs as well as quality management programs as a means of beating the competition.  However, these programs also serve as the catalyst for organizational transition.  Incorporating concepts from these types of programs helps the business survive beyond or in spite of the CEO.


Over my 30 year career, I have worked with hundreds of businesses and in more than 90% of the cases I’ve served, the CEO did not have a succession plan in place.  If the business is to survive and thrive without or in spite of the CEO, it’s critical that a well thought out and documented succession plan be in place.  This plan should list the roles and responsibilities of the CEO; not just what the CEO should be doing, but also what the CEO is doing.  The succession plan should identify the critical characteristics of his/her successor and answer the critical question of what it takes to run the organization.  The succession plan should preferably name someone that will and can take over leadership of the organization should something happen to the CEO.  In this instance, the succession plan should be treated like a Will, leaving no stone unturned as to who, what, when, where and how someone else shall take over for the CEO.

No one ever really wants to plan for the unthinkable.  However, when CEOs start with the end in mind, the business is designed to thrive and survive.

Take some time to check your P.U.L.S.E.™ and get back to the heart of your business.


About Lisa Anderson and Anavo Transformation Solutions LLC

Lisa is a Strategic Business Advisor who knows through first hand experience what it takes to grow and run a successful business.  She knows what it really means to remain in the game because she’s done it for 18 consistent and consecutive years.  She knows what is required to take a business from start up to multi million dollars in annual revenues.  She has successfully developed, coached, and implemented growth strategies that have helped hundreds of businesses succeed.  She knows what it’s like to own and operate multiple businesses simultaneously.  As a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Leadership Coach, and an Adjunct Professor of small business concepts, she not only has experience, but the credentials to go along with it.   Unlike other Strategic Advisors, SHE IS someone one who walks the talk!  

Lisa Anderson Founder and CEO of Anavo Transformation Solutions LLC which helps CEOs achieve their full potential  and build profitable, bankable, scalable, sustainable, and ultimately sellable businesses.  The home of the P.U.L.S.E. Profit Method For Today’s CEO, Lisa and her team of Strategic Business Advisors help organizations plan their vision, understand key impact indicators, leverage resources, scan opportunities and threats and execute their plan.  For close to 30 years, Lisa has helped hundreds of business grow while maintaining a healthy and profitable bottom line.


Do you want to work with a leader who has a track record of running highly successful businesses and has already helped hundreds of other small businesses launch and grow?  Or do you want to stay where you are forever?  The choice is yours.

If you are an entrepreneur who is ready to take your business to the next level or if you are ready to get out of the weeds and take control of your business, schedule a 30 Complimentary Consultation with me today.

I also invite you to explore my website and learn more about how I can help you with your business,

See you at the finish line!

Carpe Diem!  Seize the day!

Lisa D. Anderson
Strategic Business Advisor & Virtual CFO
Anavo Transformation Solutions LLC


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