Family Business Issues


11Apr 2009

The Responsibility of Having Employees — A Huge Emotional Drain on Business Owners

Today’s economic environment is taking a huge emotional toll on business owners and managers.  Given the shrinking economy, with orders for manufacturing being canceled or put on hold, with little happening in the construction industry, and with the general public spending less at the retail level — many businesses are having to either cut back employees hours or let them

12Mar 2009

Healthy (and Less Healthy) Responses to the Economic Situation

As a psychologist, I naturally find myself observing people’s behavior — their choices, what they are saying, and how they are feeling.  And this is the case now, in the midst of the difficult economic times in which we find ourselves (I am consciously choosing not to use the term “financial crisis”.) There are three core aspects to any situation

03Mar 2009

Entering Into Your Children's & Grandchildren's Lives

Often, when talking to senior generation members within a family, we discuss how to transfer one’s values to the next generations.  Sometimes we are talking with parents in their 30’s, 40’s and early 50’s who are still raising their children and teenagers at home.  Other times we are talking to 50-60 year olds with young adult children out of the

01Feb 2009

The Current Financial Crisis — Dealing with Reality

There is plenty being written about the current financial crisis and, like the political elections this past fall, it is easy to become overloaded with information.  Obviously, there are a lot of opinions about what has happened, who is at fault, and what should be done.  Some of the comments are driven by philosophical beliefs (for example, about macroeconomics), some

28Dec 2008

Transferring Values Via Storytelling – An Opportunity Over the Holidays

A much talked about issue in the area of wealth transfer and family business succession is the desire to “transfer our values to the next generations”.  This is a valiant goal and one which should be true for every family regardless of wealth status — training your children and grandchildren in ways that they will instill values that are important

17Dec 2008

Leading the Family During the Holidays*

This is the time of year when families gather together – college students are on break, young adults return home to visit, and the extended family celebrates Christmas and New Year’s together.* So it is also the time when parents who have been successful in business turn their focus to their family. This is both a good thing and it

07Dec 2008

Dealing with the Impact of the Economic Downturn

Almost all of us in the United States are now starting to personally experience some aspect of the global and national economic crisis.  Whether it is through a personal or family job loss, friends and extended family members who have been laid off, a slow down in your business, or projected reduced sales for next year — the impact is

30Nov 2008

Family Wealth — The Difficulties of Differing Financial Backgrounds

I have had a number of situations recently where I have been involved in family situations where two members of a couple have come from significantly different levels of financial resources. The following are more in the category of “in process” observations — thoughts and reflections that I have that are still developing and not fully complete yet. Coming from

16Nov 2008

Family Philanthropy — Some Lessons Learned through Observation

Over the past several weeks I have been involved with a number of families, helping them with their philanthropic giving process.  What has been interesting is the fact that almost all of the families are at some different stage in their developmental stage of philanthropy.  Some are really just beginning, others have been “doing” philanthropy for a while but are

05Oct 2008

Principles for Leading Effectively During Times of Financial Turmoil

This past week the business editor of my local newspaper called and asked me to write a column for business leaders regarding the current financial turmoil. The following is the article I wrote, and which can also be viewed at the newspaper’s website. Few current business leaders have had to navigate the turbulent waters of economic difficulties that we find

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