April 2, 2023

Family Investment

Josh Gentine

MoxCC Family Investment

As a part of a succession planning project, I spent four hours with a client and his family helping them better understand one another. We used assessment data to highlight the different personalities around the table. We talked about why he could appear scattered while his wife appeared rigid. We talked about the fact that when their daughter was stressed out, she got expressive and aggressive while their son retreated to his room. We looked at the nuanced way each family member approached social interactions and how that approach created frustrations within the family. We went wide and deep, peeling back layers of their family dynamics. Our aim was not to heal past damage; it was to build a foundation for the future. There was laughter…and there were tears.

The feedback we received about the session was fantastic. He talked about how valuable the work had been and how despite doing similar exercises in his organization, they had never done anything like that as a family. They just assumed because they were family their relationships “were what they were”.

According to a report by Technavio, the global corporate leadership development market is set to grow by $18.59 billion from 2021 to 2026. As someone who works with organizational leaders, I love that fact that leadership development has become a corporate must-have, not a nice-to-have. What’s interesting, however, is that despite the tremendous spend in the corporate sector, very little programming exists for families. If you Google corporate leadership training you’ll be overwhelmed with choices. If you Google family leadership training, your search will surface a handful of programs focused on raising kids or a few faith-based programs. As a man of faith, I think this is great, but where are the programs focused on providing families the skills we’re teaching in corporations? If you can come to the office and get trained on the value of self-awareness, compassion, communicating across generations, recognizing (and appreciating) diverse thoughts and perspectives, etc. etc. why is it that we’re not doing similar things in the home?

I feel fortunate that my work allows me the opportunity to marry corporate best practices (like leadership development work) with families. My client (above) experienced this intersection. However, it was only because he had a family company did this marriage occur. One of the reasons I do my work – a deep-seated “Why” is exactly this – I get to help build better families through my work with their businesses. However, if you don’t have a family business – if you’re not doing succession planning and being intentional in your approach, how are you building a stronger (more high-performing, if I can say that), family?

While it may seem a little formal, give some thought to applying some of the best practices you’re learning in your businesses to your family. After all, you will likely hold many different positions across numerous organizations in your lifetime, but you will only have one family. Make a Family Investment of time, energy, emotion and a little financial capital into this lifelong cohort.

If you’d like to talk more about the work I do with families, schedule time here.


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