Equal or Fair: Part III

October 24, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

A recurring and extremely useful conversation I facilitate with the financially fortunate families I work with centers on the concepts of “equal” and “fair.” Earlier blogs addressed the interplay of these concepts in July 2011 and September 2011 and I share a more personal experience about them in this column. Recently, I had a conversation with my mom that exemplifies the need for families to discuss these ideas and the positive outcomes possible. I share the conversation with permission of my mom, dad and Read more »

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

September 29, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

My work with families sharing businesses and other forms of wealth across generations requires collaboration and learning across disciplines. No single profession has all that these families need to thrive across time, and every professional truly committed to serving these families looks beyond his or her own profession to learn more and be able to contribute as much as possible. The Family Firm Institute and Purposeful Planning Institute are organizations in which I am actively involved. Both are committed to bringing together professionals serving enterprising families to Read more »

Best of Intentions

August 29, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Most parents have the best of intentions when it comes to their kids – yet some of the things parents do with a good heart backfire. I’ve seen well-intentioned parents buy new and expensive cars for their kids upon getting a driver’s license. They do it out of love, generosity, or sometimes a desire for the child to have things the parent never had or had to work very hard to obtain. Sometimes this works out well and sometimes it Read more »

Strawberry Fields

July 20, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I recently came across a NY Times article about musicians fighting over who gets to play (and collect tips) at Strawberry Fields, the memorial to John Lennon in Central Park. The situation strongly reminded me of challenges my family clients face. It is so essential for families who share assets across generations to take the time to decide HOW they will share the rights and responsibilities that come with ownership, management and leadership. And, they still need to manage being a family in Read more »

Family Business Founder Blindness

May 26, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Entrepreneurs tend to be motivated, intense, creative, assertive and self-assured. Very self-assured, in fact – particularly when they have been successful growing a company (or several) and achieving the financial rewards that come with it. They tend to trust their guts which makes some sense since their guts have often steered them the right way- at least in business. That is the rub. The skills and intuition related to starting and growing a business are frequently not the same as Read more »

Children of the 1%

April 27, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I realize there may not be widespread empathy for the challenges and issues facing children of wealthy families, and especially children of the so-called 1% – those in the upper 1% of household wealth.  However, I would like to give voice to an issue wealthy parents should be thinking about and finding ways to speak to their kids about: the strong bias against children of the wealthy.  This does not necessarily mean only the ultra-high net worth or even high Read more »

The NFL, Values & Wealth

March 24, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Chris Borland is considered “the most dangerous man in football” according to an ESPN article from last year. A San Francisco 49ers linebacker and former All-American at Wisconsin, Chris walked away from all of it at twenty-four years old. Why? He put his family and his health before money, fame and even the sport he loved and still loves. Fear of the cumulative effects of head trauma (his best guess is that he’s suffered thirty concussions) led him to assess what is Read more »

Family Business Learning Opportunity

February 21, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I am writing to offer enterprising families a great opportunity for learning and development. The Family Firm Institute (“FFI”) is a professional association for educators, researchers, consultants and allied professionals serving family businesses and wealthy families. In a nutshell, families sharing ownership, management and leadership of shared assets across generations. FFI has study groups around the country and I am part of an active and vibrant group which alternates meeting between Philly and Princeton. Recently we decided to try something new and we invited a Read more »

UVM Global Family Enterprise Case Competition

January 10, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

This coming Saturday, January 16, I am honored to be invited back for the third year in a row to act as a judge for the University of Vermont Global Family Enterprise Case Competition (FECC) . The natural beauty of Burlington, Vermont is a great reason for me to trek up north and when combined with the intellectual stimulation of serious, smart and interesting undergraduate and graduate students competing on 24 teams from top institutions of family business education in 10 countries – it is one of my favorite Read more »

Family Business Questions for 2016

December 16, 2015Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

It is that time of year when we tend to look back and review what has transpired, for better or worse, while looking toward the future with the hope of learning from past lessons so we grow going forward. Here are the top two questions I routinely pose to business families. Sometimes I’ll ask these outside of any specific context simply to see how families respond. Other times I’ll ask as families are struggling with a very specific challenge: How Read more »