“Enterprising families may believe that ownership skills will develop naturally over time or be absorbed from other owners through osmosis. That is simply not true. Instead, the complex and dynamic owner role must be planned for and developed through education, experience, and mentoring.”
Own It! How to Develop a Family Enterprise Owner’s Mindset at Every Age

Very few enterprising families focus on building an owner’s mindset in family members. They are busy working and growing their enterprises (rightly so), which prioritizes and values the management role over the ownership role. Many rising generation family members do not choose the path of ownership but are simply born into it. Given these typical patterns, it is not surprising that there is little focus on valuing and building an educated owner to steward the family’s assets for future generations.

This book serves as a resource and support tool to help enterprising families learn and develop thoughtful, capable ownership by nurturing an owner’s mindset. This includes building “ownership literacy,” along with a genuine sense of stewardship. It offers a learning structure and approach for each stage of an owner’s development across the development from earliest years to retirement, taking into consideration the lifecycle stages of the family.

The authors make clear that any owner at any age can gain ownership-related perspectives and skills that will contribute to greater family harmony and business success. Own It! includes real-life family examples and practical insights including:

  • What hands-on approaches to use at particular developmental stages for instilling an owner mindset
  • What personal and interpersonal capabilities are important to develop in rising generations
  • How to ensure all generations remain open to co-creating the future and working through missteps
  • How to address and overcome stress and discord that can manifest in high achieving, entrepreneurial families
  • How to build “ownership literacy” and a genuine sense of family enterprise stewardship
  • How to create a culture of accountability amongst children of privilege

These invaluable pointers will be useful for families and for advisors educating family members at each stage of development.

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“The book contains new, practical insights about how to develop these special essential owners. It is the first work I have seen that describes developmental stages with comment on the challenges faced in each stage and then a multitude of hands-on approaches so you can map your own family’s work.”
Jay Hughes, Jr., author of Family Wealth: Keeping it in the Family

About the Authors

Wendy Sage-Hayward is a senior consultant at the Family Business Consulting Group and has been a family business owner for over 25 years. Wendy helps clients navigate the complexities associated with operating and transitioning their family enterprises across the generations through compassionate guidance, meaningful dialogue, and relevant continuity structures that fit their unique needs.

Barbara Dartt is a principal consultant for The Family Business Consulting Group, assisting family enterprises in tackling succession, management transitions and appropriate family governance, as well as other opportunities and challenges unique to family-owned businesses.

Gaia Marchisio is a family enterprise advisor, educator, researcher, speaker and writer with 25+ years of impact across the globe. Currently Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School, Gaia is the former Executive Director of Cox Family Enterprise Center, Aronoff Professor of Family Business at Kennesaw State University.