At Egon Zehnder, we have worked with family businesses around the world since our founding in 1964. We interviewed scores of family executives to better understand their sources of success—as well as their pain points.
One of the fundamental challenges of any family business is maintaining the balance between “family” and “business.” Within the owning family, there will be the same complex, interpersonal dynamics and conflicting aspirations and priorities that occur in any other family.
Managing family relationships at work is one of the thorniest issues in family-owned businesses, particularly when relationships cross generations, such as parent-child or uncle/aunt-nephew/niece. Many family members are committed to professionalism and strive to separate “work” and “family” in their dealings with each other.
The ability to give and receive feedback is a fundamental leadership skill. Feedback improves outcomes and results, motivates performance, brings groups together, clarifies goals and objectives, clears outstanding issues and inspires development.
In a recent study, Egon Zehnder and Family Business Network International interviewed executives at 50 of the world’s top family firms - mostly in the third or fourth generation - to discover how they unlock great leadership.