The Ideal Family Business Leader part 1

Joe Schmieder
Joe Schmieder

What is the make-up of an effective family business leader?  From my own observations and interactions with family business leaders for over 30 years, as well as listening to my FBCG colleagues who have worked with 2000 family businesses, I have recognized some traits that stand out in those leaders who demonstrate an uncanny ability to develop both the family enterprise and the family.

As you develop your own leadership skills, you may find it helpful to review these ten common characteristics of successful family business leaders.

1.     Visionary:  Looks towards long-term performance versus the short-term returns.

2.     The Balancing Act:  Understands how to constantly balance the attention needed for working in the business sphere and in the family sphere. 

3.     Birth right vs. Earned right:  Articulates and demonstrates the importance of family members needing to earn their right into the family business versus making the entry a presumed birth right.

4.     Family Voice:  Supports the voice of family shareholders and other family members who are not working in the business, either through direct contact or through an entity such as a family council.

5.     Non-Family Employees:  Ensures that executives and employees, who are not members of the “descendent” family, actually feel as though they are part of the family and are appreciated as key parts of the family business. 

Check the next blog for the final five characteristics & meanwhile, join the conversation….

What would you add as a key skill from your own experience?  If you are a family business leader – what would you want to see your successor really manage to do well?


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