Article Library



Lessons in Realpolitik for Successors

Published May 30, 1995 Ivan Lansberg |

Understanding power—its uses and abuses—is one of the most formidable challenges that face aspiring successors as they rise to positions of authority in family companies. The relatively s...


Letting Go With Grace and Style

Published May 30, 1995 Shu Shu Costa |

It's Monday afternoon and John Beever, the fourth-generation president of John Dittmar & Sons, has just come in from mowing the grass at his 79-acre horse farm in Maryland. He heads straight for ...


The Power of the Chief Emotional Officer

Published March 30, 1995 Ivan Lansberg |

Recently, I was invited to participate in the annual shareholders’ meeting of a large, third-generation European company. The high point of the meeting was the appearance of the founder’s...


Cowabunga! Fam-Firms Ride the Third Wave

Published March 30, 1995 Howard Muson |

Alvin and Heidi Toffler appear to be Newt Gingrich’s favorite futurists. The Republican Speaker of the House quotes their books frequently and says he often seeks their counsel. They have been ...


Second Opinions on Great Tax Escapes

Published March 30, 1995 Irving L. Blackman |

It’s amazing. Most successful family business owners toil their entire lives to build the business and the family’s wealth. Yet the day they die is a big payday for the IRS. Far too many ...


Preventing Your Secrets From Walking Out The Door

Published March 30, 1995 Marc C. Laredo |

It happens more often than you think. A relative knowingly divulges confidential information to a competitor. A son or daughter leaves the firm, on good terms or bad, and starts a competing company r...


Why Leaders Need to Redefine Accountability

Published March 30, 1995 Edwin A. Hoover |

You have an employee who’s not carrying his weight, and, even though you’ve talked to the person about it several times, nothing has changed. Other employees see the problem, too, and are...


The Right Kind of Attorney

Published March 30, 1995 Family Business |

Richard Narva, moderator The legal profession is learning to appreciate the special skills and sensitivities required to serve family business clients. As more attorneys enter the market, they are ...


Happiness Is Stock Liquidity

Published March 30, 1995 Francois M. de Visscher |

The lack of liquidity options is the most frequently cited source of unhappiness among passive family shareholders. The demands of these shareholders frequently escalate in later generations at just ...


When Faith Comes First

Published March 30, 1995 Jayne A. Pearl |

Some family businesses put family before business in many decisions; others emphasize business before family on key matters. A great many, however, openly and proudly give priority to their religious...


Time to Open Up the Information Spigot

Published March 30, 1995 Leon Danco |

"Thou shalt maintain an orthodox accounting system and make available the data therefrom to thine officers and managers." You won’t find that commandment anywhere in either the Old Testament ...


How Excellent Companies Do It

Published March 30, 1995 Mark Fischetti |

There are no Academy Awards for family businesses. Their leaders are not featured nearly enough on the covers of popular magazines. There are numerous first-rate family businesses, of course, but the...


A Hooky-Playing Son's Field of Dreams

Published March 30, 1995 Howard Muson |

Around Louisville, Kentucky, the story is as legendary as “Casey at the Bat.” A young apprentice plays hooky from his father’s woodworking shop and goes to a ballgame. The star hitt...


The Most Ethical Family Business

Published March 30, 1995 Mark Fischetti |

It’s easy to claim your business is highly ethical, but few owners have had their claim put to the test like Jerith Manufacturing Co., a family owned manufacturer of aluminum ornamental fences ...


Sexual Harassment Charges Can Shake A Family Firm

Published March 30, 1995 Adrienne M. Markham |

“We never thought this could happen to our company.” I hear this lament frequently from managers and owners when a lawsuit is brought against their company for sexual harassment. These executives ...


What's in April's Best Interest?

Published March 30, 1995 Kelin E. Gersick |

MINUTE ORDER Lawrence Tynan, Associate Justice, Probate Court, Madison County IN THE MATTER OF: Jacobs vs. Jacobs-Ranier A petition has been brought before the Court by Dr. Max Worthington of R...


Employee Stock Ownership: What's In It For You?

Published November 30, 1994 Andrew J. Torgove |

Although most family business owners would like to transfer their companies to their children or other relatives, many find themselves in a situation where that is not possible. Children may have no ...


A Dirty Dozen of Liability

Published November 30, 1994 Kenneth P. Brier |

Sam and Eddie, two brothers, had little concern about possible liabilities arising from their business — one of New England's best country inns. They carried insurance. They were current with t...


The Second Fortune is Even Better than the First

Published November 30, 1994 O. Casey Corr |

One late morning in 1969, while his mother was away on vacation, 19-year-old Craig McCaw walked into his father's bedroom and found Elroy McCaw dead from a massive stroke. The eccentric who owned s...


'Women in Family Businesses Feel Isolated'

Published November 30, 1994 Family Business |

Dozens of women participated in the workshops for women started at the Wharton School in Philadelphia by Matilde Salganicoff and the late Barbara Hollander. Fredda Herz Brown is now Salganicoff's par...