Family Business Issues


30Jul 2007

What is the Purpose of Work?

“What is the purpose of work?” is both a personal question for me and a key question for many of the families with whom I work (although they don’t necessarily ask it directly like that). Consistent with the stereotype of a hardworking Midwestern farmer, I am a pretty hard-working guy (I am not a farmer, but come from that heritage).

15Jul 2007

The Best Way to Find a Job — Still

As I continue to work with families across the country, as well as locally, one of the most common challenges facing young people (and the most common daily life concern voiced by their parents) is the struggle of finding a job. It can be a high school or college student looking for a summer job, college graduates looking for full-time

10Jun 2007

What is a “Good Work Ethic”, really?

When I talk to business owners and managers and ask them what they are looking for in potential employees, “a good work ethic” is always one of the characteristics cited. (This is also a frequent response from parents when they are asked what character qualities they desire for their children.) Unfortunately, today there are many factors which have undermined this

26Mar 2007

What More Information Do I Need, Really?

Our culture is information saturated.  In fact, I would say many of us are information addicts.  We think we need to know more, or at least the latest information, before we make a decision or act.  The problem is — there is so much information available and it is coming at us so quickly, we really can’t know everything on

19Mar 2007

What is a "Good Work Ethic", really?

One of the most common statements I hear from families with whom I work is: “We just want our kids and grandchildren to develop a good work ethic.” This is sometimes in the context of discussing their wealth transfer plan, and they don’t want to leave their heirs so much money that it interferes in their developing foundational character qualities.

13Jan 2007

Family Issues to Address in Transferring the Business to the Next Generation

In my working with a variety of family businesses, one of the key issues to address is to develop a succession plan for the ownership of the business. That is, who will own the business in the future (and when, and how will this occur)? Obviously, the current owners want to receive fair financial remuneration and they usually want to

28Sep 2006

The Centrality of Trust and Communication in Wealth Transfer

In today’s Wichita Eagle business section, I have an article entitled “Family-owned businesses still power U.S. economy.” There are actually two main points in the article. First, many people do not realize how many family-owned businesses there are – 89 per cent of all U.S. businesses. And these companies create 78 percent of all new jobs in our economy. Common

15Aug 2006

What is a Family Coach? Assisting Families in Business Reach Their Goals

“Family coach” is a relatively new term – and a new field. There are maybe 10-20 of us in the United States. There are a lot of business consultants, and even a lot of family business consultants who assist the owners and managers of family owned businesses. But most consultants focus on the business side, because that is their professional

08Aug 2006

Good Example: The Value of Family Meetings in Transferring Wealth to the Next Generations

In this month’s (August 2006) edition of Worth magazine, there are a number of articles which deal with the challenge of successfully transferring wealth to the succeeding generations. This is an area which I focus upon professionally — helping financially successful families figure out “how much” to leave to their heirs, and how to do so in a healthy way.

02Aug 2006

Getting Started — Blending Family & Business Life

Ok, friends, this is the beginning. The goal of this blog is to assist the myriad of individuals, family members, business owners, and people who work for family owned businesses to figure out how to successfully “put it together”. How do you live your life in a way that successfully blends your personal life, your family life and your career.

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