Family Wealth Harmony®

Family Leaders Need to Begin with the End in Mind

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This question was posed by a family leader about what they can do to determine their family’s vision.

Family Leader: A friend of mine was telling me that recently she and her spouse were creating a family vision board and were struggling to identify what they want for their family and what is most important to them as a family. I’d like to do the same thing, but I’m not sure how to begin.

Creating a family vision board helps keep the big picture in mind, but many family leaders struggle with identifying what’s most important to them.

The first step to identifying a family vision is to look at yourself as a family leader and begin with the end in mind. It is easy for family leaders to allow years to go by without recognizing the “bigger picture” of what they are supposed to achieve as family leaders. Every interaction with a family member will have an effect on the family. It is critical for family leaders to see beyond the day-to-day interactions and focus on a purpose for the family that lasts 10, 20, 30, or even 50 years.

The second step is to ask yourself these questions and write down your answers.

1. What is my purpose as a family leader during my lifetime? 

2. What do I see as my role and responsibilities when I interact with my family? 

3. When I am gone from this earth, say 50 years from now, what would I like to see my family doing together, and how would I like to see them communicating with each other?

4. What do I see as my family’s shared core values? 

5. What do I want my family to be remembered for? 

The next step is for you and your spouse to share your answers with each other and collectively agree on what you want for the family, what you see as the shared family core values, and how you want to be remembered. 

The last step is to approach the rest of the family with your vision so they can adopt it for their own reasons and begin aligning every decision and action to live it out.