Do you remember when your parents told you a story? Do you remember (if you had or have children) reading them or telling them a bedtime story. You and your family have your own stories. Think about sharing them with your children. These stories may centre on the business or could be about the family history or just be a personal vignette. Most, if not all families in North America, came from somewhere else. This somewhere else is what makes us who we are.
Why tell stories? These help your children understand about the family, the struggles, overcoming these struggles and the achievements. All important.
The sad truth is that when we think about family businesses and succession, words like conflict, feud, nepotism, and failure come to mind, rather than opportunity, vision, growth, and wealth creation. It shouldn’t be hard to have positive entrepreneurial thoughts about succession. Succession is a great time to think about “the new,” not just the old and the past. Senior generation leaders should encourage the next generation to think about new businesses, new products, new markets, or new opportunities that might allow them to re-entrepreneur the business. They can think about the future better by understanding the past.
Stories can help you get there.
Telling the children your personal stories, your vulnerabilities and the difficult choices that you likely had to have made would really help them become grounded and gain a better understanding of you, the business and hopefully, the future succession of your business.
Learn, think, apply!