In the extract of "Whats makes a modern family business?" published in AMBITION, Miruna Radu-Lefebvre outline four classic types of new breed of family business owner-manager.
What are the profiles of these new CEOs who find themselves at the helm of companies that do not just exist to make money, but also to continue the family tradition? Four classic types of the new breed of family business owner-manager can be identified:
The first type of family business owner-manager could be labelled ‘the protector’. These CEOs view the management transfer as a gift that calls for lifelong commitment and a respect for the past. They feel they have been endowed with a grand mission to preserve business continuity.
A second profile also leans towards this spirit of conservatism and conservation.’ The opportunist’ sees the management transfer as a conditioned choice that requires the preservation of a work-life balance. Such people feel they have been given the opportunity to use their family mission to enjoy a high social status.
The two remaining profiles can be classed as those of innovators, keen to shake up the status quo. First, there is ‘the reformer’ who negotiates with older family members before taking on a life-long responsibility. These CEOs see a chance to modernise and believe that the mission is one of transformation in order to grow the business.
Finally, we come to the ‘rebel’. These new business leaders only accept the role because of a family drama or disaster such as a bereavement or feud. They see themselves as unlike other family members and with duty to themselves, first and foremost.