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October 2013 Book Review

November 12, 2013

Trapped in the Family Business®: A Practical Guide to Uncovering and Managing This Hidden Dilemma

Written by Michael A Klein, PsyD © 2009, 2012

Family members who work inside their family’s enterprise know only too well that effective navigation of role boundaries within family businesses and within families can make the difference between phenomenal success and colossal failure in the business, and in the family.

This particular little book does a good job of depicting the various experiences of family members who may feel ‘stuck’ in the family business.  Reading this book may help normalize those family members’ experience which can be an important step in really understanding their ‘trapped’ feelings, and perhaps help them make different choices.

Mr. Klein’s book also offers a perspective for those who might not yet work inside the family business – a window into how it might look and feel from the inside.  The reality of working in a family business is complicated for all involved and this book does an exceptional job of exploring some of the intricacies behind sometimes ‘mixed emotions’.

Trapped in the Family Business_______________________________

Renée Montoya Lado M.S., N.C.C

President, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Book Review Chair & Editor

Natalie McVeigh, MBE

Research Analyst, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Senior Book Reviewer

November 2012 Book Review

November 30, 2012

Philanthropy Heirs & Values: How Successful Families are Using Philanthropy to Prepare Their Heirs

Written by Roy Williams and Vic Preisser © 2005

Another excellent resource from the Institute for Preparing Heirs.  Much of family business literature speaks to the issue of talking to children early and frequently about wealth, what it means and how to prepare for its transfer; however, Roy and Vic actually take this matter a step further. They believe that philanthropy is a great way to prepare heirs regarding wealth and its implications. As with many of the Institute’s publication, this one starts with the research regarding philanthropy and its implications for Family Business members. What is unique about this book is the roadmap of developmental stages, ways to speak with and reach the heirs as well as specific ways to check for their understanding.

Each stage is described and given an age range. After you understand the stage and its implications there are specific exercises and opportunities outlined that can be used to teach children. In each stage the categories that are being checked for are values, mission, and accountability. Vic and Roy do a great job of integrating small case studies that relate to each section exploring both well prepared and less than prepared families. This is a great resource for any family business owner who wants to start creating wealth literate heirs.

Philanthropy Heirs & Values


Renée Montoya Lado M.S., N.C.C

President, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Book Review Chair & Editor

Natalie McVeigh, MBE

Research Analyst, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Senior Book Reviewer

October 2012 Book Review

October 29, 2012

Stewardship in Your Family Enterprise: Developing Responsible Family Leadership Across Generations

Written by Dennis T Jaffe © 2010

Mr. Jaffe’s book is an encyclopedic reference that provides a wealth of information for families who own businesses — from effective governance and decision making through communication and constructive conflict, covering such topics as succession, leadership, structural tools i.e. family constitution, family code of conduct, effective family meetings.  He takes a novel approach and suggests that stewardship is not just a component of family and wealth transition but rather an overarching umbrella and the key to multi-generational family success.  He also asserts there are six types of wealth that are inherited and stewarded: spiritual, financial, human, family, structural, and societal.  He reflects that general stakeholder involvement is an important foundation for families going through a wealth transition.  And finally he suggests that the roles of elders are critical to envisioning a family legacy that will be stewarded by their heirs.

Mr. Jaffe is a practitioner with a wealth of experience and many colorful examples and illustrations to help make the book both interesting and useful.  His orientation is to build on the positive instead of trying to fix the negative, resolving a problem before it becomes something larger by checking in, employing Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence, and utilizing the tool of appreciative inquiry to increase the power of listening within families who are conflicting.  This book is an amalgam of thoughtful insights and practical suggestions with illustrating case studies — a good reference book for families on this journey.

Renée Montoya Lado M.S., N.C.C

President, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Book Review Chair & Editor

Natalie McVeigh, MBE

Research Analyst, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Senior Book Reviewer

August 2012 Book Review

August 31, 2012

Family Legacy and Leadership: Preserving True Family Wealth in Challenging Times

Written by Mark Haynes Daniel and Sara S. Hamilton © 2010

This book would be a perfect textbook for family owned businesses. It is very clearly and concisely written, and is organized in a more academic way in which concepts are presented and excerpts  from other family business thinkers, books, or case studies are incorporated as an additive feature (usually in light-blue cutouts).  It is important to emphasize the vast array of experience and knowledge the authors have but also to consider that it is not an ‘easy-read’ because of the sheer amount of information being presented. The book also has checkpoints and questions for progression on each topic at the end of each chapter.

They coined their own phrase called a ‘Legacy Family’, which includes emphasizing family legacy, history, family wealth, and a tangible strategy which all starts with a detailed understanding of who/what that particular family ‘is’. This is based on their research and practice with successful family businesses. They assert that “protecting and building a true definition of legacy is all about identifying and preserving what the family holds most dear – through time and across generations.”

Renée Montoya Lado M.S., N.C.C

President, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Book Review Chair & Editor

Natalie McVeigh, MBE

Research Analyst, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Senior Book Reviewer

July 2012 Book Review

July 31, 2012

Getting the Family Business Ready to Sell

Written by Myron E. Sildon © 2012

This book is  published by the American Bar Association.  It is an excellent reference for any family advisor or business owner who is considering sale of a closely held business.  While this book only has about 30 text pages, it is pound for pound one of the best resources we have seen as a primer on how to sell one’s business — how to think about it, how to plan for it, the tax implications, the legal implications and the administrative must-do’s as you execute it.  And as an added bonus he explicitly considers the interplay of family dynamics in selling the family business.

It concludes with over 70 pages of questionnaires, forms and sample documents, including a  Succession Planning Questionnaire, Confidential Information Memorandum, Confidentiality and Non-Discloser Agreement, Letter of Intent, Buy-Sell Provisions and so on.  Pick it up — you will be glad you did.

Renée Montoya Lado M.S., N.C.C

President, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Book Review Chair & Editor

Natalie McVeigh, MBE

Research Analyst, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Senior Book Reviewer

June 2012 Book Review

June 30, 2012

The Essence of a Family Enterprise

Written by Samuel C. Johnson © 1988

The phrase oldie but goodie is an apt description of this book. We are fortunate enough to hear from a family business owner who was at the time leading Johnson and Johnson, a company that is  even today cited as an exemplary family owned business.  The real value of the book is the wisdom from a person who has been where most family business owners have been, and has some suggestions for practices, as well as tested advice and perspective to lend.  It is a quick introductory read for those of your clients who might be inspired by his commitment to legacy.

The issues he highlights include servant leadership, successive generations becoming invested in the company, profit sharing for employees, and open-door policies for the company.  He really speaks to the virtue and need for wise council for family business owners in order for them to be more successful.  Johnson and Johnson has had a long history of corporate social responsibility, which he outlines extensively in this book. Not only is it corporate/foundational monetary giving but also giving employees time off to volunteer with their causes and employee contribution matching.

This family and family business really have an outward look to their community, employees and the family as a whole. This book displays how that outlook and methodology can lead to a lasting family owned business and a lasting family legacy.

Renée Montoya Lado M.S., N.C.C

President, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Book Review Chair & Editor

Natalie McVeigh, MBE

Research Analyst, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Senior Book Reviewer

May 2012 Book Review

May 31, 2012

Family Wealth Transition Planning: Advising Families with Small Businesses

Written by Bonnie Brown Hartley and Gwendolyn Griffith © 2009

This book’s strength is its very readable and holistic perspective about family wealth transitions:  the focus of wealth transfer should not just be on the financial assets of the family but also on the family itself — how the family relates to one another, how the family cooperates and makes decisions, how the family plans to use its wealth, and finally, what the family wants to stand for in terms of its legacy.  In order to bring their concepts ‘alive’, the authors have created three fictitious and diverse family case studies.  When a concept, tool or theory is discussed there is an excerpt from one of the three family studies providing a dynamic and informative illustration.

This book does not by-pass the practical importance of information regarding taxes, gifting plans and the like but it recommends that before a family starts putting those legal/financial documents in place, they have a good understanding of what the wealth is and what they want to do with it.

Finally, the authors present four very useful stages for a family business advisor’s approach:

  • Understand the systems at play and the developmental stages they are in (family, business, individuals)
  • Inventory assets (financial, human and social)
  • Map the family system utilizing a Genogram
  • Use a circumplex model for the family of behaviors.

Renée Montoya Lado M.S., N.C.C

President, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Book Review Chair & Editor

Natalie McVeigh, MBE

Research Analyst, Strategic Designs for Learning

Family Owned Business Network  Senior Book Reviewer