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For many, living a rich life includes a rich family life that involves connection, sharing, closeness, and love. Yet achieving that is much easier said than done. How can we intentionally create a healthy family culture? What are some of its characteristics?
1. Establish shared family values - In successful families, founding generations do more than expect younger members to live up to the family values.
2. Define a family mission and vision - There is no one “right” or “best” value to include in a family mission statement.
3. Establish healthy limits or boundaries - Flourishing families don’t pretend their wealth doesn’t exist or refuse to use it, but they choose to live relatively ordinary lives.
4. Support family members in leading lives with purpose - One of the greatest fears for many wealth creators is that their success will enable future generations to become dependent and live off the family money without becoming contributing members of society.
5. Prepare heirs to manage wealth in ways to foster well-being - Families that flourish do active financial parenting with both young and adult children.
6. Practice Skillful Communication - What families who communicate well have in common is an intention to be clear and open.
7. See the family as a learning system - Families who are most successful at passing their values on to future generations understand the importance of seeing mistakes as something to learn from.
8. See the family as a steward of the wealth - Most of the legacy families that I have worked with or interviewed discuss openly the family’s responsibility to be the steward of the wealth.
9. Value giving back - A sense of gratitude and a desire to give back are common in flourishing legacy families.
10. Have a long-term view of the family - It’s important for all adult members of the family to talk about the future, as this kind of thinking dramatically resets conversations.
Read the full article about the habits of a healthy family culture by Courtney Pullen at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.