In October I was in Boston for the Family Firm Instituteâ€™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.
Bork speaks to students at Univ de Desarrollos
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 Iâ€™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. â€œWhat do I do,â€ 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 fatherâ€™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 Maoâ€™s Little Red Book was intended to be the â€œlast wordâ€ on Chinese communism and I intended my book to be the â€œlast wordâ€ on FB, that the intent was a â€œchiste,â€ meaning joke.
What a pleasure my trip to Chile was!
*FFI is organization of diverse professionals serving family business â€“ 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 Conferenceâ€™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.
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