Steve Legler is a family business specialist who helps enterprising families create the harmony they need to support the legacy they want. He is also the author of SHIFT Your Family Business, and Interdependent Wealth. Steve was born into a family business, and as the only son of an immigrant entrepreneur, it became clear very early on that he was expected to follow in his dad’s footsteps. Every summer of his teens and the first three years of his work life after university were spent learning everything he could about the business.
He returned again after getting his MBA, more ready than ever for the challenges that awaited him. But then, unexpectedly, within six months, the business was sold to a competitor and went from 250 employees to only four. Steve was left to manage the remaining family assets. Along the way, he also married into a business family, and has seen some of the communication challenges that they have faced over the years.
Steve has realized how important good communication is for families who want their legacy to continue, as it is transferred to future generations. He appreciates the different roles we play along the way in life which is why he excels as a family business specialist. There are plenty of people advising family businesses about their business issues, but the area that causes so much concern in so many family businesses is not the business, but the family. Steve has some very unique qualifications to help them take control of those important issues.
What you’ll learn about in this episode:
- The grooming Steve had before taking over his father’s business.
- How the family business had to downscale just as Steve took over.
- Steve’s experience of now finding himself in charge of a family office.
- What a family office is and the range of different models to be found.
- Seeing family offices as being about family and not just family-run businesses.
- The importance of focusing on the family aspect of a family office for intergenerational wealth.
- How COVID has affected family offices and the need for more democratic approaches.
- Finding key positions that fit each sibling as they take over the family office.
- The importance of having regular family meetings and how this is playing out during COVID.
- How valuable the younger generation in a family business is as far as keeping it agile.
- Grooming the younger generation to get interested in business and even start their own one.
- Closing comments from Steve about legacy requiring not just assets but people.