Readings To Strengthen Your Family

With three kids, I needed some expert input on family dynamics and management. These titles have been quite useful for me to consider the life we want to lead.

While it’s tempting to manipulate my kids via parental approval – I wrote them a how-to–manual with my last book – these books reinforce the reality that success comes from respecting differences and working towards the goals of each individual.

While the books are geared at the wealthy, the tactics and challenges faced by families are universal. Seeing financial wealth rise, fall and disappear between generations becomes a metaphor, rather than metric, for family success.

With all the titles, what I found most helpful was thinking about human, rather than financial, capital. Secondly, considering the goals of each individual, as an individual, within the family unit. One can apply these principles into any organization.

Family Fortunes – Bonner/Bonner – interesting ideas, many contrarian to my own views. Caused me to think through, then revise, my own thinking.

Wealth In Families – Collier – practical in approach, filled with excellent questions, timelines for education and checklists.

Preparing Heirs – Williams/Preisser – results from studying generational transitions. Considering this book in light of my family history had unintended consequences that I’ll be sharing.

Family Wealth – Hughes – the deepest study (out of what I’ve read so far) on the concept of human capital. If you enjoy this title then you can go further with his follow up book, Family: The compact among generations.

In studying my own family, I realized that success between generations doesn’t require wealth, or its preservation. Education (in terms of practical skills) and opportunity to apply those skills proved most useful across the last five generations.