Seth Godin recently wrote a post with a seven-word title: “But what will I tell the others?” He calls these out as: “Seven urgent words that are rarely uttered.” “The profound question…”
These are, he says: “The words we imagine we’ll tell the boss, the neighbors, our spouse after we make a change or take an action… this drives the choices that constitute our culture, it’s the secret thread that runs through just about everything we do.”
Upon reading this post, I saw its significance to members of family businesses. From their point of view the question that immediately came to mind was: What will we tell our grandchildren about decisions we make regarding our family business? What will we say to them about decisions that will drive the family culture of future generations?
You may see your role in your family business as existing only for the duration of your leadership. Alternatively, you may see your role as growing the wealth of both the business and the family, and passing them on.
You may work to make your business successful for today. Or you may take up the challenge of ensuring a strong foundation that will support the business for leaders of future generations.
You may envision yourself creating a culture and a legacy; inspiring future generations to reflect back with pride on your leadership and your words.