October 2012 Book Review
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