Q/A: Passing on the Family Work Ethic

Q/A: Passing on the Family Work Ethic

A Q&A with Larry Stybel

Overview

Q: You say passing on wealth and passing on work ethic are the two critical challenges for families of wealth. Why?

Q: Tell me about your research

Q: Let’s start with automobile time

Q: Your second lesson is demonstrating conscientiousness in front of children

Q: So outsourcing childcare has tradeoffs for later work ethic socialization?

AR: You say passing on wealth and passing on work ethic are the two critical challenges for families of wealth. Why?

LS: There is a mother-father split I see with the families I work with. Father often takes a functional perspective and defines wealth in terms of tangible assets. A career is an intangible that has more to do with well being than wealth.

Mothers take a systems perspective and look at wealth as both tangible and intangible. As usual, the women get it and we men are behind the times. There is that cliché in our industry: from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. There is a reason it is a common cliché: families passed on tangible wealth but failed to pass on the intangible work values.

Mothers will be the re-breathing dragon at the exit door when father wants to move business to a competitor who might add an eighth of a basis point. Help a mother’s son/daughter launch a good career and she is your champion forever.

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