Article Library



Making the Leap from Doer to Leader

Published August 30, 1998 Ivan Lansberg |

A Spanish client once emphasized to me the big difference in his language between hacer (to do) and hacer hacer (to do through others). This owner of a $1-billion company was talking about his son, a ...


Screwy Snapshots of How Companies Work

Published August 30, 1998 Joe Goodman |

A family business organization chart? It seems like on oxymoron. Organization charts, structures, formal management tools—those are only for very large public companies with skeighty-eight divisions...


Building the Cousin Coalition

Published August 30, 1998 Kerry Pechter |

It is late August in southern New Hampshire. The entire extended family—parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins—has gathered at their lakeside retreat called “Homestead.&rdquo...


Competing in the Talent Market

Published August 30, 1998 Harvey D. Shapiro |

Maybe money can't buy happiness, but it can buy the services of talented executives and help keep them happy. For that to work, however, compensation not only has to be dispensed in the right quantit...


AlaskaMen's Liberation

Published August 30, 1998 Howard Muson |

While operating a day care center in her Anchorage, Alaska, home back in 1987, Susie Carter met many single fathers who she felt were in need of a good woman. She conceived the idea of starting a mag...


How to Negotiate with a Buyer

Published August 30, 1998 Colin Gabriel |

Although it may not have been part of the original plan, family business owners must sometimes face the hard reality of having to sell the business. Perhaps there are no appropriate successors, or a ...


Step Up to the Private Equity Cash Window

Published August 30, 1998 Francois de Visscher |

With the turbulence of the stock market during the summer and early fall, many of us have seen our liquid investment portfolios tumble in value. While optimists view this volatility as temporary and n...


The Successor Class of '98

Published August 30, 1998 Jayne A. Pearl |

They don't commute to work on a skateboard. They don't keep their pet bird in their cubicle or insist on having a cappuccino machine in the office. Unlike typical Generation Xers, they talk about whi...


Who's afraid of a family council?

Published August 30, 1998 Mike Henning |

The organization of a family council has been seen in recent years as critical to solving one of the biggest problems in family businesses: the need for better communication between those who run the...


Why File a Gift Tax Return Now?

Published August 30, 1998 Lynn Lagomarsino |

One of the simplest and most effective estate planning techniques is to make a straight gift of money or property to your children or grandchildren. Anyone can give up to $10,000 annually per recipie...


The Right Ways to Delegate

Published August 30, 1998 George W. Rimler |

An admiral who had been battle-tested in many engagements at sea was asked what his toughest job in the Navy had been. This man, who wore a chest full of medals for valiant service, reflected for a f...


How Your Firm Can Use The Web

Published August 1, 1998 Patricia A. Frishkoff |

Should every family business have a Web site? No! But every family business should evaluate whether a presence on the World Wide Web would contribute to its overall marketing and advertising strategi...


Buying Bargain Assets from the Firm is Risky

Published May 30, 1998 Mark Fischetti |

It is common for family shareholders to buy assets from the family business. For example, an owner may purchase real estate that the company had obtained years earlier and can afford to sell at a low ...


Why Families Don't Empower Leaders

Published May 30, 1998 Ivan Lansberg |

Ivan Lansberg Governing a complex family enterprise is not just a matter of designing structures like family councils, committees, trusts, and boards. Some of the world's most unruly societies have...


Spotting Executive Blind Spots

Published May 30, 1998 James E. Barrett |

Many leaders of family firms realize they no longer can afford to tolerate marginal performance in executive jobs. These CEOs are determined to meet the higher standards of performance now demanded in...


The Grandson Who Amplified a Brand

Published May 30, 1998 Kerry Pechter |

As the four board members of the C.F. Martin Guitar Co. stood glumly in the elevator in a building at Lehigh University, they sensed that more than just the elevator was going down. C.F. Martin III, t...


Learning to Take Responsibility

Published May 30, 1998 Edgar M. Bronfman |

As a young man, Edgar Bronfman detected an off-taste in an entire batch of whiskey at the Seagram bottling plant in Ville LaSalle, Canada. He shut down the plant, let the 1,000 workers go home, and t...


Seven Habits of Highly Effective Companies

Published May 30, 1998 Francois de Visscher |

Why do some family firms thrive, while others merely survive or even wither away and die? Many reasons, of course. However, in my experience, successful family firms are distinguished by their attenti...


Cain and Abel's Siblings

Published May 30, 1998 Kenneth Kaye |

The callers were two sisters in a family of nine siblings ranging in age from 35 to 53. Only two of their brothers had taken over Dad's business, and the two brothers were taking each other apart. Fo...


The States, Too, Demand Their Pound of Flesh

Published May 30, 1998 Thomas C. Sturgill |

As family business owners age, they spend more time investigating various strategies to reduce estate taxes. The techniques—and the consultants who recommend them—often focus exclusively on federa...