• Trevor Dickinson

THE BENEFITS OF COACHING FOR FAMILY BUSINESS LEADERS

Updated: Apr 28

Family Legacies professional coaches’ role as coaches is to help our clients see their unconscious patterns and potential - which we all have - and start to work to make them into conscious choices. In doing so, our clients not only become more effective and happier leaders, but their family systems also shift and become more effective and productive.



Professional coaching is not therapy nor a resource to treat mental illness, addiction, or other behavioural health issues. It is a more professional-to-professional wellness-based approach that moves the client toward greater awareness, resulting in more effective action and accountability.


Many people also mistakenly think a coach works like an athletic coach of their youth; someone who will tell them what to do. Whereas an expert in the field might give you sage advice, a coach starts with the premise that the client holds the wisdom to create a solution, so the coach’s role is to facilitate the exploration of options, perspectives, patterns, and stretch goals.


A professional coach is interested in increasing the leader’s capacity for more than just the issue at that moment. Consider how few people, especially leaders, have a safe, neutral setting in which to process ideas, fears, perceptions, and patterns in their lives. A coaching session is one of those settings.


According to renowned Prof. Kotter, in his HBR article titled “What Leaders Really Do” most companies are overmanaged and under-led. Leadership requires white space; it also requires helping the client with what may be the curse of our time: falsely equating an overstuffed schedule with high status. Stress and frantic activity are not the same as leadership and productivity - clarifying that difference is a fundamental benefit of coaching and one that deserves frequent attention.


Coaching for family business leaders can help create a neutral space to pause and reflect. It can make it a practice to intentionally accelerate the development of that client’s leadership capacity and agility. This is more important today than ever because the world today is defined by exponential change and ever-increasing complexity, resulting in an astounding more complicated world. This dynamic is, unfortunately, epitomized by COVID-19.


Family business leaders also have the added complexity of leading in two systems with entirely different cultures: the family and business (see table below). To be effective as a family business leader today requires capacity and agility - “capacity” meaning the ability to be more self-aware, cultivate deeper empathy, frame complex issues more effectively for all stakeholders, and work to create value from change, or innovate. Leadership also requires you to step back from the system, be it your ego, your family, your business, your industry, or even country to see that system from a more objective perspective.



The coaching process enables family business owners, their successors and key management, to adopt a totally objective perspective from a non-judgemental and impartial partner, creating a confidential space where a leader can discuss any issue that concerns them in an open and frank manner, with no fear of repercussions.

Family Legacies' executive coaching process enables CEOs to create a separate identity and prepare for a new life outside of their family business. Our coaching process also enhances successors' career development and their leadership capabilities, preparing them for succession in the family business.


Executive coaching can help family business owners implement strategies to remain multi-generation businesses. It is important for executives to strengthen their leadership skills to achieve both their personal and professional goals. While it is easy to get so caught up in the daily routine of running a business, leaders might lose sight of the bigger picture.

Does your family business have strong needs, goal-setting strategies and a succession plan? A good strategy demands strong leadership, teamwork, and the separation of the “family-business” from the family. Without these, the business is doomed for failure.

Coaching has found an important role in the corporate world, and qualified coaches are highly revered and respected as change agents. With the right level of chemistry and trust, the client can grow tremendously. Coaches can help clients discover themselves, uncover inspiration and areas of development and then hold them accountable to changing their limiting beliefs and behaviours.


COACHING THEMES


The following themes often emerge in our coaching with family businesses:

  • Managing and Championing Change

  • Succession Planning

  • Letting Go: Preparing the CEO to Relinquish Control of the Family Business

  • Career Development in the Family Business

  • Developing Effective Leadership in the Family Business

  • Preparing Successors for Leadership

  • Conflict and Communication in the Family Business

  • Family Meetings: Building a Stronger Family and Stronger Business

  • Making Sibling Teams Work

  • Incorporating Non-Family Executives

We also work with our clients to ensure they:

  • Set and achieve higher quality goals

  • Know their purpose professionally and personally

  • Greater self-awareness and understanding of themselves

  • Eliminate rather than tolerate negatives

  • Achieve a balanced life

  • High impact better decisions in their personal and professional lives; and

  • Maintain good physical and emotional health.

Family Legacies’ coaches work with the holistic individual and are equally cognisant that while our executive coaching may start out with a business bias, they inevitably migrate to all ‘bigger issues’ of our lives, both personal and work related. Our coaches are skilled at taking our clients to their personal growth edges, impacting positively in all areas of their lives.

Family Legacies www.family-legacies.com is a multidisciplinary family business consulting company. Our consultants are leaders in their respective fields including; Family Business Consulting, Strategic Planning, Financial Planning, Wealth & Risk Management, Corporate Finance, Business Transitions & Exit Planning - Buy, Improve, Grow & Sell Businesses, Commercial & Family Law, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development & Facilitation, providing our clients with a professional and integrated multi-disciplinary service.