Top Ten Reasons Founders Won’t Let Go

Doud Hausner and Associates

Those of you who have heard Ernie Doud speak about frustrations in the world of family businesses have probably heard this “Top Ten” list. We’ve gotten so many requests for copies of the article that a version is reprinted with his permission. With apologies to David Letterman, here they are:

10. “Too many people I’ve known have died soon after they retired (or acted like they were dead).”

There’s no correlation between mortality and retirement. However, it helps to develop interests outside the business to which you can turn your attention.

9. “Without me, the business is nothing.”

Get your ego down to a more realistic size. In fact, under your successors, the business may evolve in ways you’ve never imagined. More…

Plan Now for the “Cousin Generation”

UMassby John Ward

For a year, speakers have come to the Family Business Center to say, in one way or another, that a family business thrives when family business members put business concerns ahead of family issues.

But John Ward has other ideas. In order for a business to thrive, he believes, it must incorporate the values and operating structure of the family. “The real issues are family-based issues more than business-based issues. The family is the most important place to focus our attention.”

As an example, Ward, author of Keeping the Family Business Healthy and other books, family business columnist for Nation’s Business, and Professor of Private Enterprise at Loyola University in Chicago described a scenario of a business that has several expansion choices. It could add new product lines within its current geographic territory, buy out a competitor in a foreign country, or develop new market penetration by opening up locations on its own in different parts of the country. More…