Infographic: Dichotomy of the Family-Owned CEO

Think Shift

Infographic transcript:

Dichotomy of the Family-Owned CEO

As a family-owned CEO you face a dichotomy: honoring the legacy of your predecessors vs. carrying your company forward into the future. How might one balance these competing objectives?

Protecting a Legacy v. Building a Future

  • 40% of of family business owners will have retired by 2017.
  • 43% of them have no succession plan.
  • Only 30% will successfully transition their business to the next generation.

We live in a world where change is happening faster than ever before. As CEO, you look outward to more progressive companies with envy. The pressure to modernize processes, become more digital and build a great brand is constant. Yet one thing must underpin such rapid change: a great culture.

To thrive in today’s world you must invest, considerably, in your culture.

Great cultures recruit 49% more qualified candidates. And highly engaged workplaces produce a:

  • 10% increase in customer ratings.
  • 20% increase in productivity.
  • 21% increase in profitability.

Although many factors contribute to the longevity of your business, an intentional culture might be the most important.

YOUR FUTURE BEGINS WITH A STORYLeaders craft stories; stories drive people; people create culture; and culture drives brand.

Brand is the outsiders view of your company; culture is the insiders view. In today’s transparent world, what you say externally (your brand) must match the reality inside your company (your culture). It is a matter of authenticity. CEOs and other leaders have a responsibility to craft and tell authentic stories that keep their employees and customers engaged. Those stories drive people’s feelings and behaviors, which in turn leaves an impression when your people interact with the outside world. As people are your number one touchpoint to the outside world, your culture is a major driver of your external brand.


As you think about your culture, identify what must remain unchanged; the foundational family legacy you must protect. Now identify what can and should change. Build a modern narrative that will carry your business forward into the future. A narrative your employees and customers can rally around. At Think Shift we help intentional leaders drive change from the inside out.

To learn more, check out our new eBook: How CEOs Drive Lasting Change


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