Family Business Center

      Family Business Leadership Strategies & Resources for Success

      Family businesses can thrive with talented leaders in the right roles, capable of next-level success with experienced professionals heading up recruitment, operations, marketing, sales, human resources, and other vital departments. In fact, from tried-and-true methods to exploring new approaches and opportunities, the leaders at family businesses can be integral to overcoming challenges, advancing organizations toward new goals, and fueling transformative growth. Family business executives can also be the key to unlocking better performance from an organization and the team behind it.

      That’s true across several industries, and it means that today’s family business leaders need industry expertise, deep knowledge, and foresight to truly outpace the competition and unleash mind-blowing success.

      To support and advance family organizations in their pursuit of excellence, we have assembled and organized several resources, diving into a number of integral topics, including the C-suite, company culture, succession planning, leadership, and more. Simply click on a phrase below to “jump” to more on that topic.

      Family Business C-Suites

      Leading a successful family business in today’s complex world can require a diverse team of experienced professionals who provide strategic guidance, inspired ideas, and future-minded solutions to overcome dynamic obstacles while staying the course to achieve short- and long-term objectives.

      Standing at the helm of all key departments in family-run organizations, C-suites don’t look or function exactly the same from family business to family business. Instead of that cookie-cutter structure, the family business C-suite can be unique to a given organization, with fewer or more leaders occupying various essential roles, from the CEO and the CFO to the COO, the CHRO, the CIO, the CTO, and beyond.

      Building a powerful C-suite can take more than just knowledge of the different leadership roles and what you want in the big picture for a family business. What can really ignite exceptional performance is a deeper understanding of the C-suite dynamics and the specific roles each leader plays in advancing an organization toward optimal results.

      Consequently, finding the right candidate to fill the C-suites at family businesses is more crucial than ever before.

      Family Business Hiring & Interviews

      The interviewing and hiring processes at family businesses are integral to identifying and placing top talent in the right roles. That’s true for C-suite leaders and all other staff, and that can mean effectively assessing talent for personality and culture fit can:

      • Minimize the risk of “bad hires”
      • Uncover the best-suited candidates for an organization and a specific role

      As a result, both the interviewing process and DiSC Assessments can be essential for family organizations of all sizes — and the following resources can provide more insight into what it takes to run and grow a successful family business while bringing in the right talent for the C-suite (and below) along the way.

      Family Business Company Culture

      Whether your organization operates in retail, real estate, manufacturing, home services, or another industry, your family business likely has a distinct culture that underlies and drives many, if not every, aspect of your organization.

      So, how can you communicate, refine, and screen candidates against your company culture? What does it take to create and grow a family business company culture that will attract top talent?

      Discover the answers to those questions and more are in the resources below, which highlight how to interview for company culture, how value-driven organizations are thriving in today’s world, and what the different styles of corporate culture are.

      Family Business CEOs

      Chief executive officers in family businesses can face unparalleled challenges and unique demands,
      particularly when it comes to prudent governance that effectively distinguishes the family from the business, with the proper oversight when necessary. Consequently, modern family business CEOs need to be deliberate, focused, flexible, and collaborative, prioritizing sound decision-making, communication, accountability, and even succession planning over conflict, personal relationships, and ego.

      Family Business CFOs

      Chief financial officers in family business C-suites typically have dynamic roles, overseeing vital financials and key business interests while balancing those with the family’s interests as they minimize risk. As such, family business CFOs typically need to possess foresight, confidence, integrity, and a deep understanding of their role and the broader industry landscape in general. When they do, family business CFOs can deliver more accurate longer-term outlooks while developing more robust networks, strategies, and solutions.

      Please note that some family organizations are starting to use the CFO title to stand for “chief family officer,” alongside the “chief financial officer” role. No matter what roles comprise a family business C-suite, the chief financial officer is usually the financial leader of an organization, regardless of how small or large it is.

      Family Business COOs

      Chief operating officers at family businesses are usually charged with overseeing all operations and administrative functions in an organization, managing day-to-day needs while also aligning and streamlining operations in the pursuit of a company’s short- and long-term objectives. As such, family business COOs need to be responsible problem solvers, exceptionally organized leaders, and ethical visionaries who can introduce new systems, improve current methods, and drive better results to grow a family-run organization.

      Family Business in the Sports Industry

      Your family-run team, franchise, or sports industry business needs to tell the right story while implementing proven and innovative strategies to get and stay on track for success. In the short term and big picture, that can involve assembling competition-ready teams led by visionary coaches and leaders who can tee up optimal performance and slam-dunk successes.

      Family Business Succession Planning

      Succession planning in family businesses can protect legacies while establishing a course of action for what occurs when key leaders stop working for an organization (due to retirement, illness, or death, for example).

      In fact, while family business succession planning can help ensure that critical C-suite roles are not left vacant, preventing leadership gaps, it can also promote continuity, preparedness, and future-minded strategic planning to keep a family-run organization on the path to success, even when specific leaders need to move on or stop working for the company for any reason.

      Advice for Selling a Family Business

      Selling a family company is a major decision that has to be planned, well thought out, and timed right in order to achieve the desired outcome from the sale. From organizing and assessing financials to valuing the business and beyond, there’s a lot that goes into the successful sale of a family business, which is why experts generally recommend planning for these transactions at least two (2) years in advance.

      Family business lawyers and legal leaders are often retained to oversee complex transactions, contract issues, and/or litigation, bringing crucial insights and strategies to the table to help family-run organizations protect and advance their interests. To provide strategic counsel and vital representation, general counsel and chief legal officers (CLOs) in today’s family businesses need to be knowledgeable, diplomatic leaders with excellent communication skills, sound judgment, assertiveness, and flexibility to manage the ever-evolving legal issues associated with a company’s taxes, finances, employees, compliance, and beyond.

      Family Business Leadership Development

      Developing a family business’s current and future leaders is key to ongoing growth and putting the pieces in play to make future transitions, from one generation to the next, as seamless and successful as possible.

      Part of that involves fostering key leadership skills, open communication, and a shared vision for an organization and where to take it over the next 5 to 10 years. To cultivate the best leaders at family businesses, a focus on professional development is crucial, and the resources below can fuel that development while positioning leaders and family businesses for greater success.

      Family Business Leadership Growth

      Expanding the leadership at a family-run organization can be critical when there’s a need for greater expertise, deeper knowledge, and more accountability in the C-suite. In fact, with more executives running the show at a family company, leaders and their teams can take on more organizational priorities, leverage fresh perspectives, and discover better ways of adapting, standing out, and overcoming new challenges.

      Family Business Tax Leaders

      Family businesses can face distinct rules and unique issues with taxes, depending on the type of organization established, the family members involved, company earnings, and several other factors.

      Understanding the opportunities and liabilities involved can require the expertise and knowledge of a tax leader — and the best tax leaders for a family business will be those who can dial into the needs and objectives of an organization while helping that company navigate the tricky nuances of tax laws.

      Family Business Exit Strategies by Specialty

      Exiting a family business doesn’t look the same across every organization or industry. Actually, family business exit strategies can differ from company to company, depending on the industry, the state of a given organization, and the objectives of this maneuvering. To exit a family business smoothly and achieve your goals in the process, here is what you may need to know, do, and avoid doing as you get started.

      Digital innovation, unique company cultures, new talent, and remote offices are just a handful of trends that are transforming family businesses and their non-family-owned competitors. In fact, from the C-suite down and across every department, the latest trends in family business have great potential to pave the way to sustainable practices, more revenue, and smarter strategies and solutions to overcome today’s challenges and growth hurdles.

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