Watch as a father presents his son with an ownership mechanism containing three main tasks.
I don’t know Dad, just between the two of us, this whole idea of having so much responsibility for the family assets, it’s just – scary.
Yeah, I know, I understand your feelings and you know, you’re right, it is a heck of a lot of responsibility, and I can remember feeling exactly as you feel now quite some time ago, very long time ago. But you know, I’ve done this, I’ve worked out three things to do, three key things that you usually look out for. Number one is to define very the roles and responsibilities of family owners. As you know I try to set the guiding principles of ownership. You have to keep resetting and renewing. Number two is to set up what we call a family owner’s organization, or a family council, and in that role, you have to show good leadership. And that’s to deal with all kinds of issues that are going to come along, and trust me, a lot of these ownership issues are going to come along.
Alright, so three things, number one – define each owner’s role. Number two – maintain the owners organization. What’s number three?
Ah, number three. I knew you’d ask that. Well, you’re probably going to think I’m joking but you need to start thinking about succession and transition of family assets to your children.
You mean my kids – I don’t have kids yet, Dad.
Well, in the unfolding story, the next generation is a very brief moment of the next generation, so you need to start thinking long term. So you have to begin planning now for that transition to your children, and their children.
Children. Well, when they arrive, that will be a very scary responsibility.
Anyway, how about a game of golf this afternoon?