In this issue
People growing up in the shadow of a family business continually live with the spoken and unspoken questions about whether or not they will join the company. To these young adults, the company seemingly offers a secure future with distinct privileges and advantages. But at the same time, the opportunity complicates their quest for self-definition and a separate identity.
Last spring my father, who was 81, fell in a nursing home and broke his hip. He'd climbed over the bed rail to “milk the cows”—a task he hadn't done since we lost our family farm in 1959. Ten days later, just as he was about to be released, he went into respiratory failure. From that moment until he stopped breathing days later, my family struggled with challenging issues surrounding his death.
Pay bonuses based on cash flow
DeNean Stafford III
DeNean Stafford III has four businesses to juggle: hotels, fast food, commercial property development, and tractor dealerships that raked in combined sales of $60 million last year. But he also has to juggle the opinions and input of his two sisters, Mary Jane Theden and Sally Stafford Perez, who are equal owners but do not work in the firm.
There are many good reasons to contemplate hiring a key nonfamily executive. You may even hear yourself, a manager, adviser, or spouse, saying, “We need to hire a real vice president of marketing who knows this new industry niche.” Or, “It's high time we upgraded our financial function, bit the bullet, and brought in a professional CFO.” Or, “This company is ready for a seasoned COO who can take some of the weight off our shoulders.”