Thanksgiving, Family Legacy and Gratitude (Year-Round)

November 26, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

About twenty years ago my grandfather was ninety and I had never heard the full story of how he came to the U.S. My dad had told me some of the saga but he did not know the whole story. I let my parents know how much hearing the full story from Grandpa’s mouth meant to me and we took a plane to West Palm Beach (no big surprise on that location for a former NY Jew) with video camera Read more »

Snow Shoveling & Leadership Development

October 28, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Winter is approaching and snow will soon be upon us. Last winter my 15-year-old son Jeremy was feeling industrious and decided to make some money shoveling in the neighborhood.  We have him pay for his iPhone and the monthly data charges so cash is essential – a great way to combat entitlement and help him understand the value of a buck. I watched out the window as he and his slight and not-so-athletic buddy headed out in over a foot Read more »

Walk The Walk

September 28, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Just a quick post this month to share a NY Times Article about the Rockefeller family. Through its Rockefeller Brothers Fund they are joining the divestment movement to sell investments tied to fossil fuels and invest in cleaner alternatives. Whatever your personal beliefs may be when it comes to fossil fuels and global warming, the Rockefellers, through this move, are voting with their feet – behaving in a way consistent with their values even if it comes with financial cost. Similarly, in my Read more »

The Emperor is Naked!

July 30, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

In Hans Christian Anderson’s classic, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a couple of shady tailors convince the king that they can make him the finest clothes and that those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent will not be able to see the clothes at all. They pretend to dress the king in these “invisible” clothes and he pretends to see them as he surely does not want to seem an unfit ruler. In his parade he marches naked Read more »

Children in the Family Business: Part II

June 24, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Collaboration between professionals is crucially important for enterprising families. In this month’s Family Business Minute I “walk the walk” as I team up with my colleague from the Family Firm Institute, Tibor Dani, who interviews me on the topic of Bringing Children into the Family Business for his cool, new webcast site Family Businesscast (in his state-of-the-art, green-screen studio in northern New Jersey). Lots of fun! Please take a look and let me know if I applied my wife’s makeup properly. This interview builds on my February 2014 blog post and goes much deeper into best Read more »

Teach Your Children Well

May 28, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, the folk rock supergroup, offered some pretty good advice when it comes to family business and the next generation with their song “Teach Your Children Well”. Too often I am called into enterprising family situations where the struggles of the next generation are related to a lack of formal plans to pass along hard-won knowledge from the senior generation. While we often think of the stereotype of a senior generation leader who will not let go, I recently encouraged Read more »

Siblings, Family Business and Evolution

April 27, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Darwin tells us that it is not necessarily the strongest that survive and perpetuate their species but the most ADAPTABLE. Big, powerful lions have been around for one million years but small, crafty chameleons have been around eighty million years. When it comes to sibling relationships the animal kingdom has some pretty interesting examples of selfless cooperation that we humans can learn from. Sea Rockets Sea rocket plants can recognize a sibling (they come from seeds from the same mother Read more »

Women in the Family Business (and Pro Ice Hockey For That Matter)

March 19, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Shannon Szabados (pictured) recently became the first female to play in the Southern Professional Hockey league (for the Columbus Cottonmouths) and was the first woman to play in the Western Hockey League in 2002 at age 16. She also won two gold medals goaltending for the Canadian women’s hockey team, most recently in Sochi. Click here for the full NY Times article . While one might imagine that her male teammates might give her a hard time and resist the inclusion of women, that could not be further Read more »

Bringing Children into the Family Business

February 19, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

One of the main ways that a single entrepreneur takes the first step toward a “Family Enterprise” is by involving the next generation: children. Often, this process is informal; summers and weekends turn into a full-time job after college or right after high school if college is not in the cards. There is, however, such a thing as being too informal about this transition, and it can and does lead to trouble down the road. Here are some suggestions for Read more »

Family Business: Efficient Machine or Social Welfare State?

January 16, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Who would describe their family business as a social welfare state? Not many. Although I’ve been called by some families in tears, fearing this is exactly what they had created, it is certainly not the norm. However, upon a closer look many families may find they have traded business value for family involvement. While some families are sophisticated and have formal compensation policies for family members (in addition to other policies regarding how and if a family member earns the Read more »