Successful next-generation leaders in the family business have to create new relationships with their parents that cannot naturally evolve out of the biological family. There are several factors involved:

1. Relationships must be based on mutual respect and acknowledgement of each individual’s unique role in the business. 2. The successor leader needs to have clear authority and responsibility within the business, a sense of accomplishment, and active participation in the continuing growth and development of the company. 3. The successor needs to have a sense of equality with the parents, and both generations need a structured, regular forum in which to discuss and resolve conflict. 4. The successor needs the training necessary for business management success. 5. The successor needs to have a crystal-clear vision for the family business’ future that is consistent with the philosophies and traditions of the preceding generation(s).

Wayne Rivers President Family Business Institute Raleigh, N.C.

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