The ‘Why’ Of When Family Businesses And Countries Prosper


by Prof. Reuven Brenner

“And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” is the saying now famously associated with John F. Kennedy, though Oliver Wendell Holmes said it eight decades before.

This same statement is the precise recipe for the survival and success of family businesses too, though as far as I know, nobody put it quite this way: “And, so, my dear relatives, ask not what the business can do you for you; ask what you can do for the business.”

The parallel will prove illuminating. With baby boomers retiring in massive numbers, and a large number of countries languishing amid political upheaval, Europe included, let’s take a look at common patterns linked to succession within companies and countries.

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