I admit it. I’m not one who is likely to read a book from cover to cover. Not even a book by Dennis Jaffe. I’m a pragmatic kind of guy – favoring short and focused pieces with clear action steps.
If you’re anything like me, your perfect family business book has just arrived. Dennis Jaffe’s “Stewardship in Your Family Enterprise” is like a family business toolbox in a book. You name it, the tools are here: governance, decision making, communication, conflict, succession, leadership, teamwork, wealth.
I’m just finishing the assessment phase with a family business client, and we’re about to hold some family meetings to review the results and plan our path forward. I thought that I would take Dennis’ book for a “test drive” to see if it could be of value to me. I’ve done this assessment and planning process many times, so I was doubtful that I would find anything new in the book. Nonetheless, I dutifully plowed ahead and read the brief sections on: “Conflict, Emotions, and Family Dynamics”, “Moving Beyond Emotional Reactions to Effective Family Communication”, “Preventing Family Feuds”, and “How to Hold an Effective Family Meeting.”
Gosh darn it, I was wrong. I found lots of good ideas that I will use right away. I hate it when that happens. Sure, I like new ideas – but not when I thought that I already knew everything about assessment, feedback and family meetings.
Dennis, you’ve done it again. I’m pleased to add this book to my bookshelf – right next to your other family business books “Working With the Ones You Love: Creating a Successful Family Business” and “Working With Family Businesses: A Guide for Professional Advisors”. But sorry, Dennis. I never read those books cover to cover either.