“Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Families who have retained significant wealth
over multiple generations have united around a shared vision for their future as well as a clear understanding of where they come from.
Some refer to their history as the family’s fabric, essence, latticework, foundation, bible and even “differentness” - the unique characters and characteristics that have determined their family’s journey to date.
Each generation carries forward the family stories to share with the next generation, transferring knowledge, values and principles in the process - leading to a more connected and collaborative family partnership.
- Most financial wealth is lost due to families falling apart - celebrating our shared history brings us together
A shared vision for the family - the family’s Why
Keeping the family connected to the business and each other as they both grow larger over generations
Inspiring future generations with the tales of the founding generation’s risk-taking, perseverance and wealth creation
Risk avoidance - doing what works and not repeating past failures
Demonstration of family values - telling stories of how the family makes decisions based on what they believe in
- A personal letter, photo or memento from past generations are cherished long after material or financial gifts are forgotten
- Keeping a journal
- Writing annual letters to your kids
- Newspaper clippings about the family/business
- Photo albums and celebrations of family milestones
- Interviews with family members
- Personal biographies
- Starting and maintaining a Family Constitution
- Minutes from Annual Family Meetings
- Regular Family Retreats
- Elders sharing tales around the campfire
Boyd Family Favourites
- My wife curates and prints an Annual Photo Book for each child each year, including little stories accompanying the photo essay of their life.
- We uphold traditions by ensuring we take a family photo in the same place each year over looking the lake with sweeping views.
- My wife and I write personal Year in Reflection letters to include in our Annual Family Meeting.
- Inspired by others, we’ve also begun to write letters to our kids sharing our fears, aspirations and observations as we watch them grow. We also share stories and include lessons that we’re learning over time.
- An Annual Family Gratitude List, expressing what we’re most grateful for as well as documenting the family’s philanthropic endeavours over the past year.
Don’t just take my word for it
Be sure to check out the “Interesting links” section below for some great resources this week.
A reminder, you can review all past newsletters here
and you’re welcome to forward this email on to someone who may enjoy it.