“The concept of a shared dream draws heavily on the psychological literature on human development, especially on the work of Daniel Levinson, the late Yale University psychologist. Levinson’s landmark “Seasons of a Man’s Life” described the power of the dream in the unfolding maturation of the individual over time, an imagined possibility that gives meaning to the person’s life and guides his or her fundamental choices.
It is my contention that family business continuity be woven together into a shared, collective dream. This shared dream sets the context within which succession in both ownership and management can take place effectively”
As a quick overview of the key points in this book, Ivan talks about:
1) Succession as a journey and not an event.
2) The choice of destination being determined by the family’s shared dreams.
3) The key to understanding where real power lies in a family company is to look at ownership. As one business owner said, “the golden rule of family business is that those who own the gold rule.”
4) Succession is driven by a biological clock.
5) Efforts to tightly control ownership and decision making in a family company contain the seeds of their own destruction.
6) Ultimately, continuity in a family company depends on instilling a sense of stewardship in every generation.
As a steward of the blessings in your life, your existence, which can be described as the Ultimate Gift, is very short in the context of the history of the world. Furthermore, many of the wonderful things you enjoy have been around a long time before you, and will most likely be around long after you. The magic is happening right now in the present while you are experiencing all these incredible moments.
Focus on the commonality of family values and family dreams when you create a shared dream for your family. Also, make your plan flexible enough so that the personal dreams of your loved ones can also be incorporated and supported in this shared vision of the future that your family is building.
Remember, that financial success and a profitable business cannot build a strong family but a strong family can build a successful business which brings financial wealth. Too often, life forces us to focus on the Business side of the Family Business equation. However, in my experience, the majority, if not all, of the most important death bed memories are about the family part of the equation. Build a shared vision that gives you the benefit of both sides of the equation so you can live a life of happiness, joy, love, and good health.