Jacob Engel, the CEO of YEDA LLC, a consulting and leadership training company in New York joined us for this episode of our Strategy & Leadership Podcast. Jacob’s work began in his family business that was started by his father, a Holocaust survivor. Over time, Jacob developed this organization, and when the financial market crashed in 2008, he was approached by various organizations and communities for guidance on developing and reinventing their businesses. Jacob has also written about the leadership ideas that his father shared with him, in his book, The Prosperous Leader.
In this episode, Jacob shares his best practices for leaders to grow their family businesses to increase likelihood of generational continuity and growth. He explains that:
- It is important to develop a vision, mission, objectives, goals and culture: This is important for every organization, and family businesses need to pay even more attention to this because of the family component.
- Empowerment and inspiration is crucial: It is important for leaders of any organization to both empower and inspire their people. With family businesses, it can be a significant challenge to empower the next generation due to complex factors such as possible feelings of entitlement, differences of purpose, and passion for legacy. These are key considerations when inspiring the next generation of leadership.
- Family organizations should seek outside input: If the company has a board, there should also be board members from outside of the organization, in addition to family members.
- Strategic planning should not be ignored: It might seem clear where a family wants to take their business, but every organization needs to plan for the future. A strategic plan for a family business should include both a plan for the organization as well as a plan for the family and their roles within the company. This empowers leaders to truly lead and innovate within the organization, while empowering those doing the work to carry out their tasks with autonomy.
- Continuing education and training can help leaders inspire their people: This investment is huge, as leaders learn valuable skills they can transfer back into the organization they run. Key skills that can be honed is trustworthiness and time management (i.e. learning how to be accountable to themselves, the staff, and the organization).
Listen to the full interview below: