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 July 2013 post I wrote about the famous rock band The Doors and their drummer, John Densmore, who was joined by the estate of Doors front-man Jim Morrison in refusing to sell one of their songs to Cadillac for marketing. Densmore and Morrison’s surviving family members refused to sell, they were sued by other band members and the courts sided with Densmore and the estate.

Values upheld!

What is the Lesson?

Enterprising Families: Clarifying values and having family discussions about them is such a powerful way to ensure that what is most important is woven into family life, the lives of individual family members and beyond. Values clarification is where I start most of my family consulting engagements. Families are appreciative of the powerful focusing effects of the exercise and how it keeps their behavior consistent with their stated values (and helps to see the inconsistencies that inevitably crop up in fallible human life).

Advisors to Enterprising Families: Basic values exercises can be incorporated into professional relationships that usually are thought of as focusing on “technical” legal, tax, investment or planning matters. All it takes is an open mind and a willingness to learn and try something new. You will stand out from your peers in a way that will impress and surprise clients. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more about incorporating values exercises into your work.