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When you have a family-run construction business, passing it down to the next generation isn’t as easy as just giving them the keys.

There’s a lot of work you must do before passing your business down to the next generation. Otherwise, your business will crash and burn, you’ll destroy relationships within your family, or both.

That’s the bad news.

The good news?

In this episode, award-winning family business strategist and author, Nike Anani, joins me to reveal how you can pass down your business to the next generation (without wrecking your business or family).

Listen now.

Show highlights include: 

  • The insidious way passing down your family-run construction business to the next generation can sabotage your family (and how to prevent this) (3:15)
  • How sharing your most humiliating business failures with the next generation ensures their success (6:33)
  • The “Lifetime Exercise” which prevents the next generation from making the same business mistakes you made (8:13)
  • How to make your children value money (even if they grew up wealthy compared to other kids) (11:00)
  • The weird way your business success may accidentally set your children up for failure (and why empathy is the antidote for this “glitch”) (12:28)
  • How to prepare the future generation to run your business by going on fun family retreats (22:03)
  • The best way to stop heated conflicts between family members from bursting out of control (29:17)
  • Why first generation business owners treat their business like their favorite kid (and how this poisons the second generation’s success) (30:36)
  • The “Three Circle Model” for passing down your business to the next generation without skipping a beat (35:24)

If you want a copy of Nike’s book, LIFETIME to Legacy: A New Vision for Multigenerational Family Businesses, you can order your copy by going to https://nikeanani.com/book/.

Read Full Transcript

(00:01): Family business. That's the topic of conversation today on construction genius with an expert in family businesses, Nika Anani. She is back on the show and we are going to take a deep dive into the importance of communication in family businesses. Think about your family meetings. I know I have a family meeting with my family. Every week we sit around the table discuss what's gonna go on the next week issues that have come up challenges. We look each other in the face, make sure that everything's good between us. Um, hope you have that with your families. And if you're running a family business, you know, there is tremendous importance in that type of communication. So we dive into that in great detail. And we talk about the three choices that you need to make in your family business, as it pertains to how you make the transition from G one generation one to generation two Nika shares the lifeline exercise that she uses with her clients to foster vulnerability.

(00:53): When having these conversations between multiple generations, we discuss how to get beyond emotions in a conflict to the underlying needs that drive the conflict because, you know, as we get into conversations, conflicts arise. And then we also talk about how to use the three circle model to better run your family business. And we explain that three circle model in the discussion. And like I say, uh, Nikas got a new book coming out and it is published and ready for you to check out it's called lifetime to legacy. We mentioned that during the podcast where there are links in the show notes so that you can read that book. And the great thing about Nika is she knows what she's talking about because she's on a mission to help businesses move from lifetime to legacy. And she herself has over a decade of family enterprise expertise as a second generation owner and family office pioneer. So give Nika some love by checking out her book. Also check out her podcast called the connected generation, which is a top 10 podcast for family enterprises globally. There's links in the show notes to the book, as I mentioned and enjoy my discussion with Nika here today,

This is Eric Anderson and you're listening to construction genius, a leadership masterclass. Thomas Edison said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. If you're a construction leader, you know all about the perspiration and this show is all about the 1% inspiration that you can add to your hard work to help you to improve your leadership.

(02:31): Eco, welcome back to construction genius. Oh, thank you. It's awesome to be back. I wanted to bring you back on the show because you do so much work around building and sustaining healthy family businesses. And I know in the construction industry, there are lots of family businesses, and this is a tremendous challenge. And the topic that I'd like to cover here today is communication within the family member group who are involved in the business. And so from your perspective and your experience, both being involved in a family business and helping other family businesses, why are conversations important as it pertains to the business?

(03:07): That's a fantastic question. Conversations are important as it pertains to business because in absence of conversations, the very worst can happen. And what is the worst? The worst is when the now gen transitions out the business will fail to transition successfully to the next generation. And we lose the source of wealth. We lose the impact in community. We lose the impact in society. And also if it were just about losing money and losing financial security, it'd be fine. But quite often what then happens is we destroy relationships in family. So there'll be infighting within the family. It can threaten the harmony within the family and have irreparable damage. So it's really important to during the lifetime of the Nour, start to have conversations on what does this business mean to us? What is our role as a family? Where are we heading towards? What are our values?

(04:03): What's the meaning of money? What does wealth mean to us as a family? And how do we wanna model and inculcate that in the next generation, these conversations are absolutely critical, but quite often as family enterprises, we are, we tend to be approached by technical planners. So tax planners, wealth planners, wealth managers, estate planners, and it's great to put your optimize on your taxes. It's great to put your estate in order. It's great to also have a portfolio where you also must layer on top of the technical, the relational conversations, the communication within the family.

(04:41): And when you say the now generation, you mean like the first generation, the founder of the business, is that what you're talking about? Indeed. In the founder of a lot of my clientele, G one moving to G2, there might not be a family counselor in place or a, a proper structure board or well organized business. And so in absence of conversations and an absence of structure, when the founder transitions naturally, there's a lot of risk. Yeah. With the business.

(05:09): One of the things I've observed in family businesses is that the first generation obviously requires a tremendous amount of blood, sweat, and tears to get a business going from nothing to something. And what happens sometimes with the business is you get this idea of the flywheel going right where five, 10 years in, we figured out the business G one's figured out the business, the flywheel is moving, the wealth is being created. And what happens is that G two is there when the wealth is already getting going, and they don't know, they don't know all of the effort that it took to get to that point. And so they don't have an appreciation of how difficult it is. Do you see that? And, and what kind of impact if you do see that, that does that have on that transition from G one to G2?

(05:57): I think that's a really powerful observation. I think quite often, G one will share the gifts, the fruit of the business, and not necessarily share the input to what it took to build the business. And like you said, it's a lot of hard work quite often. They've been triumphs. Yes. We've had huge wounds. The business have grown. We've done well successfully, financially. We've got a great reputation in community, but quite often there have been trials as well. There've been seasons of obscurity, seasons of business difficulty. And I am of the strong opinion. That legacy is not just about passing down assets to people. It's also about leaving things in people. And it's about sharing our journeys, our triumphs, our trials, our stories. So we can build collective wisdom, collective intelligence, collective knowledge within the family. And we can pass that from generation to generation. I also think layered on top of,

(06:49): Can I just stop you there please? I really think this is important because it's easy in a certain way to pass on wealth. It's not hard to do that. You know, especially when you get to the point where I've got enough and I can do this for my kid and it's not gonna hurt me. How can I consciously build the experience of that blood, sweat, and tears in the next generation? What do I do to, to accomplish that?

(07:11): I think it's not necessarily just about building the experience with the blood, sweat and tears. It's about getting vulnerable and sharing of the reality of being an entrepreneur. And in the book I talk through kind of exercises you can do with family members, like a life lifeline exercise, where you share like the peaks and the troughs of your life defining moments that have defined you as an individual. And as an enterprise leader, start to have conversations with one another and they can start to gain an appreciation, cuz they may see the houses, the cars, they may see the vacation homes, the business, all the employees, but they may not appreciate that. There may may have been seasons where we were nearly bankrupt, like, or there were seasons where we lost key members of staff or there was a season where there was fraud in the business or there was a season where we had a regulatory challenge. Right? I think it's important that we present ourselves to one another as fully multifaceted beans and not just show, put the best foot forward. I think that's really important.

(08:13): Can you take us through that lifeline exercise? That sounds quite interesting. Yeah. Let me put it up as we're talking. So essentially to create a lifeline, just think about all the significant events that have shaped your life and you'll note like, so you have to do this privately on your own first and choose three positive events and three negative events. And these don't necessarily have to be with respect to the business, right? This could be personal, the whole essence, foster connectivity and vulnerability and connection between yourself and your family member. And then you reflect on these events. Are there any consistent patterns that you're seeing emerging from these events? Right. So could there be after a loss or after a trial in your life, do you see that you perhaps start a business straight afterwards or you delve into some kind of activity afterwards? Or do you see some kind of self, some bad patterns in your life, for instance, maybe addiction or any vices that are coming through?

(09:18): Yeah. After significant traumatic events, it just allows for a reflection of those. And what did those events teach you and how did these individual events influence what you went through and how do you see them influencing your future character and events that you will go through in the future and start to have a conversation share with your family members. And you'd be so surprised by what comes out quite often. The next generation see the founding gen like the superhero that turned water into wine as so intimidated by them. And you may start to hear that. For instance, your parents went through a traumatic event that, you know, they nearly lost their lives or they thought the business was going to end or, and it just allows for a different appreciation and perspective of your family members.

(10:08): So that lifeline exercise is designed to foster that vulnerability and to communicate to, to the next generation that what we're doing here is not something that just occurred out of thin air, or it's just super easy, but there's been difficulty. But I'm, I am curious though, how is it that that G one makes sure that G two actually understands because to me it's a profound thing. When somebody writes you a check , you know what I mean? Mm. When they give you money for the services that you provide or the products that you provide, it's a profound thing, because they're saying we trust you, we value what it is that you have to offer. And it's not something that is just done. There's stuff that goes on behind that. So how, how does G2 particularly in a family business, how do they really get that sense of man? This is something that it isn't necessarily easy and does take a tremendous amount of work and effort.

(11:00): I think it starts with appropriate boundaries and trying to inculcate certain values in G2, right? From an early age. And that is an appreciation for the value of money. It doesn't, it's not something that, you know, is just handed over to you that you're entitled to, but it's something that you have to earn and comes with responsibility and it has ramifications beyond it going into your check. It has a positive impact on community and society. So starting to model to the next generation that working in this business is a privilege and you are making such a great impact. So they wear it with pride is one, a second thing is I think it's really important for the next generation to have experiences and exposures outside of the family enterprise to build up both a network and also work experiences outside of the family enterprise, where they're free from this eclipse of the success of the founding churn, where they can start to discover themselves and own their own self worth.

(12:09): And then they can come back into the family enterprise with guess what new perspectives, new insights that they can add value, but also a, a real sense of a healthy self-esteem and software. And they can start to have this, this autonomy within the family enterprise system and seek to add value. The challenge is where an NextGen has no external experiences or exposure. I think more, there's a huge risk that the success of the founder would literally make them just, you know, question their competence. They may lack confidence. It's very difficult to express the next man that I am so anxious or I am so scared that I don't measure up to my mom or my dad. Instead it may present itself as someone that's entitled someone that doesn't appreciate. So I think the, in the book, I talk a lot about the perspective of the next generation, the social emotional challenges and complexities that wealth presents and what they're going through to have a, a newfound appreciation and empathy for the next generation. Not to, I find that a lot of folks in the industry will often wa fingers at them like they're entitled. They lack entrepreneurial spirit. They're this they're that. And it's like, well, you don't really understand their worldview and their perspective. And you know, the fact that they also like the founding need empathy to empathy to get them through the transition.

(13:43): I think that's interesting though, because you're, I can, I know that you're a G two person yourself and your own family business. And I do think that's an interesting perspective that you can bring to the table in, in your book, because you do understand that the difficulty that G2 has in measuring up, so to speak to G one's achievements. Yes, indeed. So going

(14:02): Back to this idea of the importance of conversations, what should, well, I wanna ask a couple of ways, let's say you are G one and you want the, the business to pass on to G2. When should these conversations begin? Because I, and let me tell you why I asked that it's because I talk to a lot of people who are, or are G two type people, and many of them say that it was, they were never really told that they're coming into the business, or it wasn't really explicitly talked about around the table, but it's just something that was like a vibe kind of thing. So I, I don't know, is it a, what, what is your thought on that when these conversations should begin?

(14:35): I think as early as possible and explicitly as possible conversation is not a monologue, so it's not unique. Directional quite often. What we see is the founding gen talking at the rest of the family, but not involving different voices and including conversation is co-creation. So it's not necessarily uniformity of thought, but unity of direction. Does that make sense? So we are trying to create a platform and an avenue through which we can come with all the vulnerability and start to talk about what does this business mean for us? And where is it headed, headed towards, what do we wanna see in the future and what role do each of us wanna play in it? And guess what? It requires vulnerability on the part of the now gen who may have in their mind, I would like Freddy junior to take over Fred junior might wanna be in Australia and set up a tech company.

(15:33): It may require that you hear, you may have some disappointment, right? Well, you don't get your way, but it does. The outcome of the conversation is emotional investment in the business. Cause quite often what we see with the next generation is, or people will say, they're not interested in the business. They're not engaged in the business. Well, they haven't had an opportunity to know much about the business where they can also contribute their voice. The interesting thing about millennials and gen Z is we're a generation where if we feel like our voice, isn't welcome. We just leave whether metaphorically or literally. So we have to be able to as now Jens hold space to just collectively ruminate on where is this heading towards? Where we going? What role do we each wanna play in this? And it might not be what you desired, right? But we can then start to plan strategically around that.

(16:29): For instance, you may have a, someone amongst your next generation. That's like, yeah, I would be willing to give it a try and learn more about the business and do a one year rotation across different departments and see how that goes. Or you may have, or everyone that's like, we're not really interested. Maybe we should look at non-family staff to take over or start, start head hunting for good executives. Or maybe we should look at selling the business. But I think the point is these conversations are important, cuz we're able to then collectively gain clarity earlier and a number of the options that are available to us as family enterprises, the three that I outlined, pass it down to family in terms of leadership or pass it down to non-family in terms of leadership or sell it outright, these three options or take time and a lot of planning, you need significant runway to work towards those outcomes. This is not something that will happen in six months or 12 years and 12 months. It may take a decade, right? So the earlier we start having this conversation, the better it is for family and for the enterprise.

(17:32): I think it's interesting. The point that you make there about, we hear that all the time about Fred's not interested, Dave's not interested, Sally's not interested. And your point being that if we give them some input and a sense of buy-in early on, um, then perhaps they'll become more interested. Yeah. I think also a sense of autonomy. Right? Okay. So speak to that. So a lot of the time founders tend to find it difficult to let go.Really? Yeah. you've never heard this strange phenomenon going on here. Yeah. Right. Um,

(18:05): But the resulting effect is that next gens find it difficult to grab on and next gens are typically are seeking to make an impact. They, they may not be motivated by financial success cause they, they have security. They wanna make this stand by I've was in a coaching session just the other day. And this, my client was really saying she's really desires to see the impact of her on the enterprise. She wants to make her market some capacity. And so it's really important that it's difficult. You spent a whole lifetime building this business. That means so much to you. I mean so much to the community. I means so much to your family and no one can love your baby the way you do. But it's really important. You start to practice collective leadership with the next generation and you can start small. You can start from a small project, right?

(18:59): You can start with the siblings working together on a small project and seeing how they communicate, collaborate and gain clarity of mission, vision, purpose. And it might not even be entrepreneurship related. It could be a charity related project. And I think it just starts to help you with trusting their decision making, also seeing how they coalesce as siblings, as team players, and then start to think through small, low stake decisions, you can subcontract. So to speak to the next generation, start gaining their thoughts and their opinions on and start to involve them gradually in the family enterprise decision making. And this doesn't require that they work in the enterprise nine to five. This is just getting their opinion, getting their buy in. I often say we can't fall in love with what we don't know. We won't care about what we don't feel included in.

(19:53): Yep. If you don't mind thinking about that conversation that you had with one of your clients, what sort of advice or feedback were you giving her? So that, that helped her get some clarity to think about next steps. A lot of the time when NextGen's coming to the family enterprise, their Jack of all trades modeling through just doing everything and anything, they're really struggling to see the impact they're making. They know they wanna make a stamp somehow, but they don't know a how they will do so. And there's no plan to do so. So we were having a conversation with respect to what would you like to see in the family enterprise, in the future? A B what would you like to see with respect to you in the future? Like what do you care about? What are your interests? What are your strengths? What are your passions? Are there any opportunities to infuse more of those interest strengths and passions into your current role? Or would it require you tilting to a new role, creating a new role, creating a new, for instance, it transpired that she's very passionate about philanthropy.

(21:00): Her mother had started a foundation two years back and she was talking about how she could get involved with more with her mom. And so the conversation we had was what's stopping you from doing that now, is there a purpose for your now season? Is there something you need to learn in this now season? Are there skills you need to develop to be able to deploy towards your future goal of working in philanthropy? And if so, how can we curate and customize a plan to get you a roadmap, so to speak from where you are now to where you want to go to,

(21:32): Let me ask you about, so let's say you are a family business. One thing I've seen with some family businesses is let's say you get to the second generation or even maybe before the second generation and the, um, the siblings begin to have kids. And so the cousins kind of kick in, right? Mm-hmm and sometimes what can happen maybe with G two or G three, is that the, the president or the CEO? He or she doesn't have kids who are necessarily want to be involved, but maybe there's a cousin over here or over there. Do you, do you see that happening much?

(22:02): Oh yeah, for sure. And I think it really caused too, by this point, we're going beyond just informal conversations for now, very structured family gatherings, talking about the business. So family meetings, family governance structures, like family councils, but also family learning together. Uh, whether it be like kind of like structured, instructed learning, or more kind of experiential learning, also family retreats and fun. So we need to start to coalesce as a, an extended family because we've grown up in different households with, even within the same household. Siblings are all different label close of now. Yeah. Right. Yep. And I'm talking this note with your cousins. You may not even be in this country or you probably meet them once a year, if at that, you know, just at the annual reunion, if that's, so we need to start really start banding together. What's our common vision. What's our common mission. What are our values? What does it really mean to be in this family? And then delineating from that our roles in the family business. If we have any, cuz by this point it's probably statistically, most of the cousins will probably not be working in the family enterprise, but may have an ownership stake. And what does that mean? What values do we wanna be imbibing and so on and so forth.

(23:24): So as we're having those family discussions, I'd like you to just give some perspective on the structure of them in a couple of different ways. Number one, how often should they be happening? Number two, are there different types of family meetings we should have? And then what are the content of those family meetings?

(23:41): Yeah. So if you are like I described G one moving to G2, going from informal and trying to get more institutional, there may be a season. We need to get everybody up to speed. People may not really know what's going on in the business. And so there may be a need for let's get like some kind of reporting mechanism. So to speak a meeting is really just whether it's you bring in executive management, talk about what's been going on and then folks can have an opportunity to ask questions. But at some point we need to evolve beyond that. And that also can expand into the sphere of the wealth. So the assets the family has, you can involve like your estate planners, your tax planners, where folks have an opportunity to ask questions, but we need to evolve beyond that and start thinking, what are the strategic priorities of the family enterprise?

(24:29): And you can do this on your own, but I find that it's very difficult for families to do this on their own. And it's better to bring in a third party facilitator that can moderate these conversations. And for Eric, his priority might be trying to distill, how do we treat? In-laws like maybe your siblings have, have just gotten married and you're a bit concerned. Like what is the policy around in-laws? Are they earning? Are they not, are they allowed to work in the business? Are they not? Do they come to these family gatherings? Do they not for the next person? It may be, I wanna start philanthropy. I want us to have some philanthropic activity. And so we need to distill what are our collective strategic priorities. We also need to distill what are our collective shared values? What does it mean to be this family in business?

(25:16): What's our collective vision, what's our collective mission. And then what roles do we see each of us having in this and what decision making will govern, um, decisions. What's the structure for us making decisions together in terms of cadence and frequency? How long is a piece of string? I think , you know, I think the importance is creating the place and the space to have these conversations, cuz these conversations don't happen on the fly. They don't, you know, we, we, we like to be quite informal in families. You know, just having over a cup of coffee at the breakfast table and just talking about these things, but that's not necessarily the most inclusive way cause there'll be some family members not available or not present. So really creating the space and the place in your time, in your calendar and in your heart and emotions to have these conversations. And quite often it does necessitate that we pull away and we go to a neutral location, maybe vacation for two, three days. And we dedicate a few hours to talk about X where we've all jointly decided on. This is the agenda of what we're gonna talk about. And we prepare for, for that. We allow for different voices to speak at the meetings.

(26:29): What are some tips or some strategies that G one can take on to keep their mouth shut? When G two is speaking, That's a really good point. So I think you having ground rules is really important. So if we know the rules that we're working towards, then we know when they're broken and we know when they need enforcing. So having rules like when someone speaks, you have to listen. So no, never speaking over someone else, having rules, like I've seen in some families where they have a two and a half minute rule, so you've got two and a half minutes to talk right. And then you zip it and then you allow for the next person to talk. But I think also, like I mentioned, having a trained facilitator in the room that would allow for different voices to be spoken, can clarify certain things. And the facilitator in an ideal world, would've had private individual sessions with each of the family members and understands what is important to them.

(27:27): So even in driving the agenda understands their perspectives will, may encourage them to speak up in a group setting and also will be skilled in how to manage conflicts. Cause conflicts is inevitable and conflicts doesn't necessarily mean like this dramatic outright conflicts, but it can be mean a difference of opinion and perspective when we are struggling to align on a middle ground and sometimes a, a third party can allow for that help folks to understand that, but kind of co-creating a new norm. Yep. And we're kind of negotiating amongst ourselves, what works for the greater good, the greater, um, the whole, rather than just speaking to just one person's perspective. Yeah.

(28:14): I think it's interesting. You were saying that I was working with one of my clients last week and the, uh, the president of the company was saying, yeah, you met Eric. I used to run these kind of workshops all the time with my previous company. And I know exactly why I brought you in as a third party facilitator because I know I need you to help me to have these conversations with my team. So it's really interesting. It's interesting. The power of a third party facilitator and, and I, I just wanna encourage anyone who's listening that if you're struggling in your company to have these meaningful conversations, um, you, you really should consider bringing in a qualified third party. Um, simply because just having that sounding board that neutral outside perspective can really bring flow to the conversation. I'm curious though, you, you touched upon this idea of conflict and I mean, I know, you know, in, in my family we get into conflicts and things can get pretty heated. My kids, particularly I'm negotiating the power dynamics amongst my children. They're getting into conflict all the time. And so we're bringing all of that to the table. You know, we can't say that that hasn't happened when we are having this discussion around our family business. So how do you manage that conflict? Even if it's just a difference of opinion that occurs when you're having those discussions?

(29:25): Yeah, no, that's a really good point. I think I always impress upon folks in the room that we are different stakeholders with different personalities, perspectives, priorities, and preferences, and we see things differently and to come to the meeting, ready to be empathetic to the next person. So not digging your heels in your perspective, but ready to kind of suspend judgment and get curious about what could Eric be thinking about this? And I wonder why he feels this way rather than dismissing, judging and trying to impose your point of view onto them. So that's where it's like, I think we should go in this direction and Eric's like, I don't agree. I think we should go in. Why, um, but where there's this kind of repeated conflicts, that's, there's an underlying trauma. Usually that speaks to unmet needs and say, if for instance, someone gets really quite upset in a meeting and storms out or starts crying.

(30:25): I would often pause the meeting and get each person to do an exercise in exploring what am I feeling on the surface and what are my underlying needs? So you may be feeling angry, but your underlying need is to feel accepted by your family members or to feel validated or to feel supported. And that might be triggered by some fear of abandonment. It's very common with next gens. They may not say it's their family members, but quite often feel abandoned by parents who focus their love and energy on their favorite sibling, which is the family business.

(31:03): Hold on. You just said something interesting there you said the favorite sibling is the family business. Yeah. Yeah. Talk About that found quite often next gens funeral, some degree of resentment envy towards the business, cuz it was the sibling that got all the love. The time, the attention whilst mom and dad were flying up and down and going to meetings working late and they weren't there because it was always, oh, I've gotta work. And so there's a sense of the lack of engagement that we were talking about by the next generation. Sometimes it's because there's deep resentment towards the business. Why should I care about something that took my parents away?

(31:40): That's very interesting because it, that it makes me think about is that sometimes some of the reason why the siblings aren't interested in the business because they see it as a threat to them as opposed to something that's been a benefit to them indeed, sometimes. And it's worth exploring, it's worth getting conversations. Sometimes this is beyond this group of a facilitator. You might need a licensed therapist to come and explore these themes and help with healing through whatever trauma there is from their pasts, but quite often, observable second iceberg observable emotions, very different from what we feel on the inside. You might observe anger or frustration or, but what's going on on the inside is a deep fear or shame. And so when you get fruits to do that exercise and get introspective on what's going on with me, and then we come together and have a conversation on this is how I'm feeling, but these are my needs and we start to have gain empathy for one another. And then we start to allow for, for instance, I might say Nick, oh, Eric says he feels rejected and abandoned. Do you have any ideas on how we can make him feel more included, unloved, and supported, and then Nicka might submit her ideas. And we all have an opportunity to give different ideas. And we get very constructive as a family and trying to troubleshoot and problem solve rather than accusatory. And just arguing over. Eric said, Nick said, or she did. He did cause quite often, conflict is not just about, she did this. He did that. It's about unmet needs.

(33:20): Interesting. I was just thinking about, as parents are thinking about passing their business on to their children, I wonder how much they're driven by guilt at, at the time where they can see, say to themselves, man, I spent all this time working on the business. I know that I've neglected my kids. To some extent here, let me give them the business as a way of making up for that. And yet the kids don't want the business because the business was the source of their neglect.

(33:44): I think you are onto something there. I think you're onto something really powerful there. I think that could, there could be that dynamic at play as well. Like, And that's why maybe sometimes some of the G one S they sort of give the business instead of making them, having the kids go outside of the business, then bringing them in and having them do the hard work because they feel guilty. And so they just sort of bestow it upon them. That's really interesting something To think about. Mm-hmm

(34:10): Yeah. It's inter very interesting. So then, as, as we're going through this process, you, I get what you're describing here, it's interesting is, is, is a ton of work and it isn't something like you said, that happens overnight. What are some immediate first steps someone can take in order to begin these conversations and to make sure that they're they're healthy and they're productive.

(34:31): Yes. I think first step is gaining awareness of self. So understanding you are a self in a system, you've got your family system, your business system, but yourself gaining understanding of your individual vision, your mission, your values, gaining understanding of your drivers. You would really grow miles in gaining mastery over yourself, and then starting to approach your family members with deep empathy, being in being very curious and observant of them, to try to understand their fears, their aspirations, what they're hearing, what they're seeing learn through, which they see life would really, really help so that when you come together in conversations, you're coming from a place of non-judgment you're coming ready to receive, and you are coming with a heart to co-create rather than to dominate. Lastly, I would say educate yourself on just the three circle model, for instance, which is for family businesses, you've got the family system, the business system and the ownership system as a result of that there.

(35:40): So essentially it's a ven diagram with different overlaps. We all sit on different spaces on the ven diagram. And that means that with different stakeholders, for instance, you might have family members that are just family members don't own shares. You might have non-family staff that don't own shares and work in the business, or you might have the founder that owns shares works in the business and is a family member. When you gain understanding of the fact that each stakeholder group has different perspectives, priorities preferences, based on the role they occupy really, really helps when you are in a group setting, you won't necessarily react when someone submits their perspective, that's very different from yours. Cause you have an appreciation for the fact that there will be diversity of thought by that very nature. And then lastly, I mean, there's a practical things like setting a date, setting a location, deciding who will be the family champion, so to speak or who will facilitate, if you will have an external person come in and facilitate agreeing on the agenda items. Like what do we actually wanna talk about? Is it really more on the technical side, the business side, or really that relational side? We wanna just get to know each other a little bit better. That's what I would advise.

(36:58): Excellent. And what did you call those three circles again, please? Three circle model, the family system, the business system and the ownership system. John Davis. Okay. Okay. Is that a book? He's one of the leading academics in the family business space. And he came up with that theory in the seventies. I believe. No, that's tremendous. Now you've done a lot of work. You have a book coming out. Um, it's called lifetime to legacy. Can you tell us a little bit about the book please?

(37:25): Yes. Lifetime to legacy is my passion. How we can help families take their businesses from lifetime businesses to legacy enterprises. And in it, I really explore not just the technical elements, like I said, like tax planning, business planning, wealth planning, but the relational elements. How can you foster greater connectivity within your families to bring about intellectual diversity and so that you can start to ruminate on creating enterprises of the future. And I speak about like the three CS, which I believe are the critical success factors, building future focused enterprises, that's communication, collaboration, and clarity. And it's written from a bus buyer, business owner who gets it. Um, so it's not a, an academic book. It's very practical. So there's exercises in there with very practical takeaways. And there's an accompanying workbook, which is available on my website where you can do exercises whether on your own or together with your family.

(38:30): So, um, if people wanna check out the book, where should they go and check that out? Yes. Please go to my website, www.ni and Annie Ford slash book. There there's a reel. So you can see a three minute video, more about the book there's free sample chapters. So I believe there like five chapters where you can read, take a peek into what's in the book. Also more information on where you can buy it on Amazon. Excellent. So we will have all of those links in the show notes ne I, I really appreciate you covered on the show here today. Um, you've shared some, some tremendous insights. Last thing I want to ask you're in Texas, right? I am in Austin, Austin. Okay. So I'm going to Austin next time. I'm there. What's the one restaurant I need to hit up. Oh my God. Oh, there's so many. You need to hit up the, well the well mm-hmm okay. What kind of food is there? It's just amazing. Like organic locally sourced, like it's healthy, but yummy. So it doesn't taste like plants. It tastes really yummy. yeah. Good drinks as well. Good smoothies. Great location. Excellent. I've got the, uh, the link to the website right here. So we'll put that in the show notes. Nika. Thank you so much for joining us here on construction. Genius. Thank you so much, Eric. I really enjoyed our conversation. All right, cool.

(39:53): Hey, this is Eric just before you shoot away, make sure you check out NCA's book Nika anani.com/book. It's called lifetime to legacy, and I really appreciate her being on the show. Hope you've taken some close notes. I know we came up with some insights during that discussion that I think were quite interesting. Um, particularly the motivations that you might have as a G one business owner passing on your company to your family. Could you do me a favor? If you are benefiting from construction genius, the podcast, would you please go to where you get your podcasts right now and just hit the five star rating? And if you want to give us a review as well, that would be terrific. The reason I ask this is because it helps us to get seen across the interwebs. The podcast has grown from nothing to something, and we'd love to get it growing even more so that many people can benefit from these interviews that we have with folks who are experts in the areas of leadership and running a successful business.

(40:45): Thanks again for listening to construction genius today, I do really appreciate the fact that you are listening, that you're finding benefit from the podcast. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me anytime. And I'll just give one other plug real quick. I know during the conversation Nika and I talked about the benefit of having an outside facilitator in your discussions, whether you be a family business or a non-family business, if you have strategic discussions, which don't go well, or if you have issues that you need to discuss in your business and you think an outside facilitator could help. And I'm speaking specifically to you as the owner of a construction company, the president of a construction company, reach out to me on my website, construction genius.com/contact. I am an expert at facilitating those types of meetings and I'm happy to help you if there is a fit. So feel free to reach out to me. Thanks again for listening to construction genius and have a terrific Day.

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