A commercial real estate businessman and a professional speaker, Richard Bryan has dedicated himself to spreading the word about team building and succession planning. Much of Bryan’s business know-how is derived from his role as CEO for his family’s four-generation car and truck dealership business, which eventually transitioned to commercial real estate. Although he gained much of his impressive business knowledge simply through osmosis as a child and young adult, Bryan strengthened this understanding when, at just 28 years of age, he was forced to step up and take over as the CEO of his family’s business. The circumstances surrounding his adoption of a leadership role were truly troubling; Bryan’s diabetic father was admitted to the hospital for a leg amputation that he was not expected to survive. Although he ultimately lived another five years after this amputation, Bryan’s father was no longer capable of running his family’s automotive business. Instead, Bryan stepped up and took control of a company that, at the time, was losing millions every year. He and a trusted mentor worked together to turn things around, and today, the business is once again thriving.
Richard Bryan’s Transition into Public Speaking
Although he continues to successfully run his business in the United Kingdom, Bryan now spends the vast majority of his time in the United States. As an in-demand professional speaker, he uses his experience as the CEO of a four-generation family business to demonstrate the importance of surrounding oneself with talented and hardworking individuals. His current experience in the business world continues to back up this message, for, while he appreciates the ability to interact with business partners in the UK via Skype, the continued success of his company is largely prompted by the reliable team he’s assembled across the pond. According to Bryan, one of the primary goals of a CEO should be to craft a team that allows him or her to work on the business and not in the business. He feels that, by establishing a team that can be trusted, business leaders can let go of ineffective micro-managing, and instead, take on a more valuable mentorship role.
Family Business and Succession Planning
In addition to teaching aspiring business leaders about building high-performance teams, Bryan also integrates succession planning into his speaking engagements. His family business background has taught him a great deal about the challenges associated with succession, as well as the opportunities this transition can bring about. Bryan believes that, through careful planning, business owners and their loved ones can ensure that their companies continue to thrive. However, should a successor be thrown into a leadership role with minimal preparation, that person can achieve success by surrounding him or herself with trusted mentors – just as Bryan did when he first became a CEO at just 28 years of age.
Although Bryan’s start in the world of business was not easy, it paved the way for a variety of valuable opportunities. The professional speaker remains grateful for his early mentors, to whom he has paid tribute with a book called Being Frank, as well as frequent mentions at his professional speaking engagements. Bryan believes that, through seeking mentors, building a high-performing team and focusing on strategic planning, any struggling business owner can develop the skills needed for success.