In October I was in Boston for the Family Firm Institute’s (FFI) 25th Annual Conference*. At the Conference, a friend from Barcelona, whom I mentor, introduced me to Professor Claudio Muller, from Chile. Claudio teaches about Entrepreneurship and Family Business and invited me to speak to his class.
As an aside, in my last two posts, I wrote about the importance of mentors in family business. The mentoring relationship with my friend from Barcelona has been very rewarding and has resulted in a network for me of those speaking Spanish who are involved in family business
I was honored to take Claudio up on his offer, and on November 10 I spoke to his class in Santiago. It was refreshing to speak to the young students and also a great way to practice my Spanish, which I’ve been studying for the past several years. There were about 100 persons present, 75 students from his classes, other professors and businessmen.
Students received a copy of my most recent book, The Little Red Book of Family Business**, in advance and worked in groups to prepare questions. I presented a few of the fundamental principles of Family Business, then took questions. (From time to time I had help in translation of the questions!) It was a very lively exchange, in both English and Spanish!
One young man started his question by saying that he and his father fought a lot because they are so much alike. “What do I do,” he asked. I advised him to speak with his father about the dynamics and perhaps get a job elsewhere for a couple of years to earn his father’s respect as a good employee.
As I was speaking about the Little Red Book, one student asked why it was red and also why I had red glasses? I explained that Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book was intended to be the “last word” on Chinese communism and I intended my book to be the “last word” on FB, that the intent was a “chiste,” meaning joke.
What a pleasure my trip to Chile was!
*FFI is organization of diverse professionals serving family business – lawyers, accountants, money, managers, therapists of various stripes, business consultants, etc. I chaired the annual meeting in 1991 and have been a key presenter at 23 of the Conference’s 25 years.
**Visit the Books page of this website for details on The Little Red Book of Family Business and other books about Family Business.
Does Your Family Business Need Help?
Family Business Matters has extensive experience assisting family businesses. With many decades of experience, we understand the wide variety of challenges that families face as they work together to build, grow and sustain a thriving family business generation after generation. Through conferences, continuing education programs, family business retreats, speaking engagements and private family business consulting services, Family Business Matters has assisted more than 450 family-owned businesses around the world chart their way through family business issues of all shapes and sizes.
For more information on how Family Business Matters can help your family business survive and thrive, please contact us today at (970) 948-5077.