12Dec 2006

Christmas Gift Giving Can Be Character Training

Believe it or not, your approach to buying and giving gifts for Christmas can have a significant impact in the character development of your children and grandchildren. For wealthier families, I believe the gift giving process can affect how well the wealth transfer process in your family goes in the future. (However, the principles are applicable no matter the financial

05Dec 2006

Managing Our Stress: Let’s get practical

Ok. We are in the holiday season. And now we will be bombarded with articles about the stress of the holidays — family gatherings, shopping, managing our finances, holiday parties and concerts to attend, traveling, and so forth. And it is true — the Christmas season and New Year’s tend to create more stress for us. But the problem I

28Nov 2006

Lessons to be learned from extended family time together

Having just completed the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we now have an opportunity to do some reflecting and learning from the experiences we just had. Many extended families were able to visit one another and spend some extended time together. This opportunity can be both rewarding and frustrating (and often is both). For many families, especially those in business together, the

20Nov 2006

Thanksgiving is Actually Healthy for You: The Benefits of Gratitude

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, there are numerous columns and articles discussing various aspects of the holiday. I would like to take the opportunity to bring attention to the overall benefits to our lives of having a thankful attitude. In his bestselling book, What Happy Know, Dr. Dan Baker (who is the director of the well-known treatment program at

15Nov 2006

Follow-up to College Costs: Today’s lead article in USA Today

As I said in today’s earlier blog, the issue of college costs will continue to be a point of discussion. And so the evidence comes. The lead cover story for today’s (11/14/2006) USA Today addresses the need to have measurable indicators of the benefits of a college education – and the reaction to this from the educational establishment. The issue

14Nov 2006

“Is the Cost of College Worth the Investment?” is the Wrong Question

A very frequent topic of discussion, books and articles today is the question: “Is the cost of college worth the investment?” Often proponents cite historical data of the cumulative increase in income a college graduate earns over their career in comparison to high school graduates. This then leads to a variety of issues addressing variations or derivatives of the global

06Nov 2006

Improving Your Communication: Making It Easier for Others to Understand You.

This past weekend, I had the privilege of facilitating a family retreat in Northern California. I have been working with this family for a couple of years. As a result, we have done some previous communication training together on foundational issues of listening and understanding how your personality styles impact communicating with others. So they were ready to work on

31Oct 2006

Data before Decisions: Common Quagmires People Get Entrapped In

Recently, I have been consulting with a variety of executives, family members, and family business owners – all in different circumstances. But I have been seeing a common theme among many of them – struggles in making difficult decisions. In many of these situations, the individuals (who need to make the decisions) are expending a lot of time and energy

23Oct 2006

A Major Obstacle to Growing as a Leader: Blaming Others

Due to the fact that I have worked as a psychologist and family coach over the past 20 years, I have had the privilege of observing and interacting with thousands of individuals and families. Obviously, some people are more healthy and functional than others. And it is clear that we all have problems, so the existence or experience of having

16Oct 2006

“Even when he’s here, he’s not here”: The impact of 24/7 electronic availability on our personal lives.

This past week, two wives from two unrelated families used the exact same words to describe to me (and their husbands) a challenge they are experiencing in their homes: “Even when he is here, he is not ‘here’.” They went on to describe the phenomenon that has become a culture-wide struggle – the expansion of the world of work into

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