A Father’s Legacy

Several years ago my daughter gave me for Father’s Day a journal entitled A Father’s LegacyYour Life Story in Your Own Words.

Each page has a question with space to write on themes from a lifetime of experiences—childhood, family life, education, career, love and marriage, parenting. It asks for recollections of time spent with school friends, of summer holidays, the sports I played, my favorite memory of my mother, what I remember about my first date (being nervous, and asking my mother if I could use her car the day after passing my driver’s exam—she said yes), of my greatest joy in being a father—to name a few.

I have been adding to the journal, a little at a time, with increasing appreciation of the thought behind the gift. It is more than a way of passing stories along. It is a way of memorializing the values that built the stories—values that build families.

I know these memories will be cherished, as I cherish the memories of my parents. The success of a family business is in the family. The joy is in the family. Without that, what is there?


A Family Community

In January 2016 Dennis T. Jaffe, Ph.D. published a book entitled RELEASING THE POTENTIAL OF THE RISING GENERATION: How Long-Lasting Family Enterprises Prepare Their Successors. In it he discusses attitudes and actions that together comprise the success of multi-generational family businesses. 

Jaffe’s book makes a strong case for the idea that family business success is less about building the business and more about how the family goes about creating a family community focused on educating and mentoring the next generation and developing next-generation careers.