HOW TO DEVELOP CAPABLE SUCCESSORS

One quality in almost every generative family is a deep, ongoing, active engagement in developing the skills and commitment of their rising generations.  

 

They realize that these young people are their most important resource, and they will not spontaneously grow up to become good stewards.  

 

They have an important, impactful, and unique opportunity in the family enterprise, but to make good use of it requires engagement, investment, and active measures.  

 

Family elders realize that wealth can have negative impact on their offspring, and so they thoughtfully invest in many programs and practices.  

 

Every family, wealth or not, faces the daunting challenge of raising children to become productive members of society. But following the adage "to whom much is given, much is expected," an extraordinarily wealthy family with many shared assets faces additional challenges. 

 

Since young members of such a family expect to become responsible for a large and complex set of financial and business entities, they have to learn skills that the less fortunate never encounter.  

 

They also need to learn and accept the family's values about work, responsible behaviour, lifestyle, money, inheritance, and social responsibility.  

 

Generative families educate and prepare the next generation to take care of their assets as well as use the freedom and opportunities they have been given to make a vital contribution.  

 

No family wants to feel that it created great wealth so that its children could be lazy, wasteful and unproductive, spending the money as fast as possible. Generative families want to develop character in young family members, and they want to see it develop without coercion.   

 

They view a responsible inheritor as having the following qualities: 

 

  • Working as a productive career or life task valued by others that they care about and have become skilled at; 

 

  • An informed owner (or owner-to-be) of the family assets; 

 

  • A good family citizen who is committed to family values and participates in family governance.