Monday, October 20, 2014

Intentionally Developing Leaders for Family Owned Businesses

(Part 2)

In a recent Wall Street Journal survey, approximately half of the responding companies indicated that they plan to increase their leadership training budgets as a result of the recognition of the cost effectiveness of building leadership from within as opposed to only looking externally to hire key talent.

For family owned business, the next generation of the family often provides the talent pool for the next generation of leadership.  It takes intentional, focused efforts to grow and develop the next generation.  It is an investment not just in the next generation, but in building the family legacy.

Progressive family owned business leaders do certain things to foster leadership development within their organizations, including continuing to develop themselves; carefully selecting learning projects tailored to individuals in the next generation; and utilizing 360 Degree Feedback.

There are also other things that such leaders can do to foster the next generation and build leaders within their organizations.

Build exposure to other leaders: Broaden the opportunity of the next generation to network with seasoned leaders of other family owned businesses. There may be opportunities to do this through involvement in trade associations, family business forums, or the local Chamber of Commerce. Either way, it must be intentional.

Exposure to the Strategic Agenda: Invite the next generation to sit in on the planning discussions for the next business cycle. Do it now, before they will be expected to make the decisions. Show them your thought process. One business family that we have worked with has rotating seats on their Board of Directors for the next generation

External Coaching: Sometimes the next generation hears things differently, more clearly, and more receptively from an ‘outsider,’ such as an executive coach.  The coach must understand the issues and concerns of a business family, be committed to the success of the next generation and the legacy of the business, and have the ability to both push and pull the next generation along in their learning process.

Nurturing and developing the next generation can be a very rewarding journey.  Moreover, it supports and builds the family legacy.  However, it takes intentional commitment and effort.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Women and Wealth: A Hard Look at the "Soft Side"

With Susan Schoenfeld

Reflect back to your childhood, and your young adulthood. Think about the family stories you heard, about your ancestors who came here from another country, or who created the wealth that you may have inherited, and what those stories said to you about who you are and where you come from, and what your
family values and prioritizes. Now look forward, and think about the values, culture and history you are communicating, or will communicate, or want to eventually communicate, to your future generations. That is your family legacy. It's often not comfortable for a family to sit down and talk about its values and its wealth. If we don't make a conscious effort to think about our family's legacy in a formalized way, it's an easy conversation to put off.

In fact, most parents report that they would rather have the "sex talk" with their kids than the "money talk."

Susan R. Schoenfeld, JD, LL.M. (Taxation), CPA, MBA is CEO and founder of Wealth Legacy Advisors LLC, which provides objective advice to families of wealth through personal attention and human spirit. Services include Stewardship, Succession, Philanthropy, Next Generation Coaching and Education, and Fiduciary. She is an Attorney and CPA, with deep experience as an advisor to families and family offices on matters of generational wealth transfer, estate planning and education on the “personal issues of wealth”.

Previously, she was the Family Ambassador at the W Family Office, serving as the liaison between the single family office and its multi-national family members, and helping to engage and educate the next generation about their family wealth enterprise. Before that, she was Principal of Bessemer Trust for more than 14 years, where she helped high net worth individuals and families develop and implement generational wealth transfer planning strategies. She also created, developed and facilitated Bessemer's Women and Wealth Workshops, designed to explore personal aspects of wealth, which in turn inspired a series of Next Generation of Wealth workshops. In addition, she ran Bessemer’s donor advised fund, and also headed Bessemer’s Northeast Region Trust Administration group. 

Join The Network of Family Businesses for a virtual educational Webinar on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM Eastern Time, with Susan Schoenfeld.

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