In this issue
Younger folks in family businesses often complain, “They're not developing me.” And the owners or managers respond, “They want top jobs without getting ready for them.” Truly, this is an area of mutual responsibility. But busy owners may have only a couple of hours a month for training and mentoring.
The leaders of family companies dominate Forbes magazine's new list of the “world's working rich”—the stiffs who are left once kings, queens, oil potentates, and nonemployed heirs are crossed off.
In its July 5, 1999, issue, Forbes lists the net worth of the world's top 200 working billionaires, and briefly describes the leaders in numerous countries. The number of top spots held by family business owners is impressive: 8 of 10 in Asia, 12 of 15 in Europe, 5 of 6 in the Middle East, and the number one rank in Canada and Mexico.
As a family psychologist, I am interested in two major assets that my friends in family businesses possess: money and time. More specifically, I am fascinated by how the limitations of time and the pursuit of money—or “stuff” —continually shape behavior, yours and mine.
How much time did you spend today pursuing money: reviewing investments, analyzing accounts, making decisions about purchases? Time well spent, of course. But sometimes money sucks up all the oxygen in the room, leaving no energy for the time of your life.
Everything was simpler in the old days when most people thought of succession as a father handing the reins of a business to his son. Today we know succession is a complex process requiring time and effort and combining many varying individual aspirations.