What keeps venerable old families together?
They are, after all, only as strong as the roots that bind them.
The above quote comes from a Dec 30, 2017 article in the NY Times that I had saved because in it I see an important message for all family businesses—a message that cannot be repeated enough.
The article, Keeping the Family Tree Alive https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/your-money/family-business-wealth.html features descendants from three famous families: Sylvia Brown, whose family name adorns Brown University, Alessia Antinori who is a 26th generation member of the Italian wine making company bearing that name and Mitzi Perdue, heiress to the Sheraton Hotel chain, and widow of chicken magnate Frank Perdue.
For me, the overriding message is: members of successful family enterprises spend time together. Eating dinner together and vacationing together are examples. Time together helps family members embrace a common sense of purpose, create and sustain a culture of cohesiveness across generations.
It’s interesting to note that the representatives of the three families written about in this article are women. Women are typically perceived as the archetypical force for family cohesiveness. Considering that more family businesses fail because of family related challenges than business ones, the extent to which women participate in their family enterprises might justifiably be seen as a significant factor for failure or long-term success.
 Sullivan, P. (2017, December 29) Keeping the Family Tree Alive: Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/your-money/family-business-wealth.html