Jim Grogan, founder and CEO of MBI Direct Mail, is proud of his company’s success. Amongst their many achievements – whether it’s being an INC 500 awardee or an Orlando ACG Smart Award winner, Jim has always led his organization with an eye to the future. Jim understood that succession planning is a very necessary part of preparing for a secure future. Jim had his plan in place with his GM positioned to succeed him until a permanent CEO could be named by his Board.
No one could have foreseen the sudden death of his GM. As Jim recalls, “The ﬁrst few hours and days were very difﬁcult as we sought to comfort the family as well as assuring our employees and customers that we were conducting business as usual.” Jim immediately reached out to his Vistage Group, Chaired by Linda Pﬁster, for input on what the next steps would be. He told them all options were on the table including selling the company, conducting a national search for a new GM, or reorganizing the company.
Mike Grogan, Jim’s son who is also involved in the business, was thinking about the future of the company as well. As a member of a Vistage Key Leaders Group, Chaired by Terrence “TJ” Kelly, Mike’s focus had been on his future role as the eventual majority owner of the company. He decided to test his thinking at his Vistage Group’s next meeting. Mike recalls, “I knew we were at a critical juncture for the company’s future, and I believed I was capable and ready to contribute more as a leader.”
Without the other’s knowledge, Jim and Mike both shared the situation with their respective Vistage peers. And then, as Jim notes, “What happened next would never have happened without
“What happened next could never have happened without Vistage”
Vistage.” Jim’s Group advised him to weigh carefully each of the options and not to automatically shift into looking for a replacement GM. While at the same time, Mike’s Group encouraged him to propose a new structure for the organization, with him taking the position of COO.
Jim tells us, “Our new organizational structure positions Mike to not only be the future owner of MBI, but in time, CEO. It’s a decision that would never have been made without the power of two Vistage Groups who provided their best thinking for our future.