Sun, Mar 17, 2013 — We were in Dallas, attending the Vistage International Conference. The ballroom was packed with 1,100 CEOs and Vistage Chairs from across the country and around the world. It’s exciting to be around successful business leaders, anticipating that with your next handshake you’ll meet someone whose story will be one you can’t forget. That’s when I met Dan Mollura, a second-generation leader of a family business, Vinyl Technology, from Southern California. They design and manufacture an array of vinyl and plastic products for customers including the Army, Air Force, Defense Department, and NASA. He’d realized over 300% growth ($8M to over $30M) in the 7 years since taking over from his father. That’s amazing. But that’s not what got my attention. He said the reason for his success was that he was more conservative, more analytical, than his entrepreneurial Dad. Wow. I had to learn more. Breaking Up Before Breaking Out Dad was an immigrant from Argentina. He had been a pioneer in the waterbed business until the industry softened; then he’d started Vinyl Tech. With several sons, Dad had his eyes on Dan and began grooming him as his potential successor. But Dad was not ready to let go, and a falling-out resulted in Dan quitting, leaving the family business to pursue real estate. Eventually, Dad recognized he needed Dan back in the business and approached the brothers to ask Dan to come back. And he did. This act of rebellion and reconciliation was clearly the moment of truth for their successful transition. It took Dad two more years to fully let go, but the process was underway, and the ground rules understood.