Values Matter

I am thinking about a conversation I recently had with Roy Williams, President of the Williams Group and cofounder of the Institute for Preparing Heirs. He has studied families of significant wealth for over 40 years. From his studies he has developed and I have used his assessment tools for families to determine how prepared the family is to successfully transfer financial wealth from one generation to the next.

The one big takeaway for me was a confirmation of the following distinction: there is a difference between families who transfer wealth successfully and those who don’t. And that difference is using a system that connects the family around more than the money. Those who don’t have a family system usually end up, and studies bear this out, squandering, losing the family business, or otherwise seeing the financial fortune erode in the next generation 70% of the time. If the fortune does pass on to the third generation, then 90% of the fortune is gone within this generation. This occurs even with the brilliant work of estate and financial plan. Is this what the founder of a great company and great financial success wants? Usually not. The great estate and financial planning is not enough.

The missing element for families who want to stay connected is the family plan, the creation of the heart of the family: its purpose. The family purpose is expressed in the family mission statement. The mission statement includes the values of the family as well as the direction of the family. The values become the glue that holds the family together as the family materializes and realizes its mission.

In making the mission statement come to life, the experiences, the gifts, the education, the talents, the skills, the backgrounds, the networking relationships that family members have can powerfully benefit the family.

I love knowing that families can succeed and stay connected, that families can pass their values with the valuables in a meaningful and long lasting fashion. I love hearing that what I am doing can help. Thank you Roy for the confirmation.

PS- If you would like to hear what Roy had to say, please go to www.focusandsustain or send us an email letting us know you would like to receive excerpts from this recorded conversation when it becomes available for sharing.

PPS-When you email us, ask us what tools and activities we use with families to keep the family connected for generations including the value cards, the intergenerational money games, the conference table of strengths, the talent pool tool to name a few.

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