I recently did a presentation on the principles of family-business-best-management practices to an industry group of 2nd and 3rd -generation leaders. One participant commented that she loves the family business and that it would be unfathomable for her not to be part of it.
Her statement reflects some of the important qualities of next-generation leadership in successful family businesses. Those of us who work as advisors to family businesses recognize several characteristic attitudes held by next-generation leaders:
- I know and love the business
- Working in the family business is considered my best option
- I have no other option
- I am expected to work the family business
Each of these attitudes has consequences for the individual, the current head of the family, and the future of the family business. Knowing and loving the business promotes multi-generational sustainability more than the others.