Family controlled businesses today represent the private sector. Over the past few decades, a great deal has been written about family business and succession planning. While most authors focus on corporate reengineering and financial growth, only a handful focus on the people behind the money: the family.

The family is an institution founded on mutual love, trust and respect. For most people the two most important things in their lives are their families and work, therefore combining both of these elements, can create a dynamic force in the family business.

Love of one another, and the love of the business is the substance that unifies families. This love, along with a common heritage is intrinsic to the trust that is present in the family business. Trust is the foundation for productive working and family relationships.

Stemming from love and a common heritage, the trust that exists in family businesses is often implied, however it is also important that a family fosters an environment of openness and transparency to sustain trust, respect and family unity and harmony indefinitely.

Family unity should be a number one priority for family businesses. While love and trust are all integral to creating this unity, respect is the ultimate requirement. Respect of one another is essential, respect of others opinions dreams, and choices, even if this means embracing dissent and diverging views or attitudes.

“Your Children are not Your Children.
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you… “
Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

*Cor Unum, Via Una: One heart, one way

by: Walid Chiniara, partner and Deloitte Private leader at Deloitte Middle East

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