Bea’s Blog: Exemplary Leadership in Family Business

In a recent session of the Women in Family Business Peer Group at the Conway Center for Family Business, we discussed the following five key characteristics of a family business leader and the components of each:

  1. Commitment
    1. Immerse yourself in the business
    2. Understand the business
    3. Sacrifice personal pleasures when needed to benefit the business
    4. Show true caring for all family members
  2. Decisiveness
    1. Ability to make decisions
    2. Courage to make tough decisions
    3. Confidence to admit you don’t have all the answers
    4. Capacity to become a good listener
    5. Competency for hiring skilled advisers
  3. Vision
    1. Know where the business is currently and where it needs to go
    2. Communicate with key personnel
    3. Develop a strategic plan and long-term plan
    4. Spearhead planning efforts
    5. Ensure that implementation occurs
  4. Respect
    1. Integrity
    2. Honest communication
    3. Excellent work habits
    4. Ethical decisions
  5. Communicate
    1. Involve employees
    2. Communicate well and often
    3. Generate enthusiasm
    4. Motivate employees

As a leader, you motivate, earn respect and work together towards a goal. And, as the old saying goes, “bite off only as much as you can chew.” You’ll lose respect if you make promises and do not deliver. Set goals you know you can make and follow through by exceeding expectations.

Being a strong, effective leader is not always easy especially when it comes to family business. By continuously demonstrating these characteristics, you create the conditions for your employees to do their best work to ensure the success of your business.

 

 

Bea Wolper is President of the law firm of Emens & Wolper Law Firm, Columbus, Ohio, where her practice focuses on succession planning, estate planning, oil and gas law, contracts and the buying and selling of assets and businesses, with an emphasis on family-owned businesses. She is also the co-founder of the Conway Center for Family Business.