In this issue
All families have conflict and all businesses have conflict. Conflict is built into our lives, and while it tends to be viewed negatively, it can provide opportunities for constructive change. It becomes a problem when it is viewed as bad and to be avoided at all costs, and when it becomes personalized and polarized.
In my experience, families do well to develop general rules for handling conflicts that arise in the daily work of a business. Some families have developed novel approaches.
As Ed Dorian Jr. hurries through the halls of his company’s fourth-floor office on a campus-like setting in White Plains, New York, he doesn’t see desks and work cubicles and busy sales people—he sees the world.
The shocking case of Stew Leonard Sr., who was sentenced to prison last year after pleading guilty to an elaborate tax evasion scheme, has received considerable publicity. Though the media thrives on stories about how the mighty have fallen, a family business audience is likely to find tragedy in the downfall of the highly acclaimed, third-generation leader of Stew Leonard’s Dairy.
Giving to charity has always been a prudent way to reduce income taxes. But suddenly the value of charitable giving has increased dramatically, especially for people in higher tax brackets who own their own businesses.