Worrying about your children is what everyone does. Worrying about the unborn generations of children is only special to the family businesses.
We have been privileged to witness and feel this type of worry by families running their family enterprise worldwide as – The worry of power.
The worry for power deeply impacts family businesses’ success, happiness and prosperity for generations. However, worry alone doesn’t lead to a successful legacy. It propels responsible family businesses to get busy developing insights, ways, means and ends to create an infrastructure that supports the family for decision-making, communications, culture, and much more.
The above also applies to non-family businesses, which is no surprise.
The reason – Owners, when they decide that they want their business to last its impact and leave a legacy behind for its people, community, or humanity or all-inclusive, they also carry the power worry!
There are remarkable organisations in the world which are not family businesses. Still, the heart of the owner/s had made a conscious decision to leave a mark on the planet or whatever but a conscious decision. These owners have passed away, but they are still alive in their legacy for centuries and beyond. Some examples are firms such as P&G and TATA (although they began as a family business – it’s the cherished legacy for long-running as a conglomerate).
These organisations understand whatever they consistently do (or not do) will show up as their future state. Hence, they invest energy and focus on creating discipline-based systems to help employees maintain their mental and business atmosphere daily. This daily basis support provides the bedrock for actions leading the entire business consistently to higher levels of prosperity and impact.
These organisations proactively define systems and architectures for the following:
- Constitution System & Infrastructure for carrying out mission, vision, and purpose of business – This is the ultimate reference guide for an actualising end-to-end decision cohesiveness and oneness
- Family Governance System – This is the ultimate architecture with power structures, mechanisms, systems and much more only to help people move together daily in the same direction. Aligning thoughts, feelings and behaviours via systems
- Office of Strategy & Portfolio Management – A front-running strategic risk, choice, and execution management body
- Organisation Communication Centre – A vital function to keep the momentum of hearts and minds of people continuously working together productively, positively, and daily adding value. Without this centre of excellence in the company, everything else fails sooner rather than later
- Private & Confidential Employee Support Expert Group – A critical support necessary to provide employees to stay productive under any personal duress, trauma or any other challenges
- Organisation Constitution, Culture & Performance function – Nothing lasts until continuity of connection, deeds of value …many support groups, focus groups, and other specialised groups are formed and active in helping family enterprises continue to thrive and grow in impact
Taking full accountability
Owners realise it is up to them and no one else to take full accountability for building their legacy. Their emotions and values cannot be appreciated to an actionable level by anyone except them, to begin with.
They are lucky if they find genuine believers in their legacy who are willing to build in what they believe in for others and the world at large, just like how JRD Tata was entrusted by strangers described in his autobiography.
Once the owner’s commitment begins to show positive and pride-giving results, everybody who first showed a lack of complete support will slowly begin to give support. This is usual.
And it’s okay.
That’s why many owners give up, and those who pull some courage to walk with believers to build their legacy become legends for centuries, like JRD.
You get closure to your future state consistently using vital systems, soft & hard infrastructure, architectures, systems and mechanisms for decisions, communication and execution.
But, the first mile is the lonely walk for you with only a few believers willing to walk & support you in that mile and see beyond – with this first mile successfully walked, you can believe your legacy has already been born.
The current state
The state of economic turbulence is evident in all major economies of the world. It won’t last.
And soon, when it is over, the owners who invested their energies, faith and money in building a resilient and powerful structure and systems will take an upward growth advantage.
Owners need to focus past the noise of current times. The times are tough but won’t remain for long. It is crisis leadership time when true leaders think of cost of not doing what must be done for long term success. The inaction of owners in crisis costs dear in 2-3 years.
In crisis the natural attempt by leaders is to save cost, but the legacy worrier who successfully builds legacy and beyond. They understand such attempt of cost saving as false sense of saving few dimes and pennies.
They know that the real long-term cost they will pay is of the success altogether and something bigger than success too – which will usually cost the loss of legacy and loss of legendary reality of leaders too. One can see this in life realities and stories of JRD and P&G, who reached for centuries a mighty status of legendary architects and leaders!
We don’t have many JRD’s and P&Gs because of this counterintuitive thinking of these legends who accomplished most progress to build their full-fledged legacy impact in times that are precisely turbulent, unfavourable and fearful.
One reason apart from what they wish to build is the key reason that had kept them going. This can be cinematically depicted by the clip attached here.
To sum up – Your legacy is in your hands, but, time isn’t in yours. You ought to create results in time and build the long standing tall order by every day discipline of execution. Your vision supported by the 93% of your organisation acutely customised to seed of your legacy that is your constitution or similar is key to achieve all you set yourself out for.