The Successful Generations Podcast with Ellie Frey Zagel

Another business model: “..stewarding the culture and heritage of the family business in addition to remaining focused on financial results.” -Richard Seaman in “A Vibrant Vision”

This week’s episode is Part Three in the three part series with Richard N. Seaman, 2nd Gen Chairman of Seaman Corporation. 

In the first podcast episode, we learned about the Seaman Corporation’s family business story. The second episode was a BONUS on family philanthropy, and today, we  dive into Richard’s latest book, A Vibrant Vision: The Entrepreneurship of Multigenerational Family Business.

“Addressing your personal, physical, and mental health is one of the greatest gifts you give not only yourself, but to the people who depend on you.” Richard N. Seaman

Richard has many lessons learned and wisdom he shares in his new book, A Vibrant Vision. He has lived it all and shares what works and what doesn’t. 

If you are running, or planning to run, a multigenerational family business, this is the episode (and book!) to check out. 

We discuss 4 of the  book’s 7 Lessons Learned, including the importance of innovation, human and resource management, and strategic and business planning. We end with why “Nourishing Your Spirit” is the best chapter in the book. 

Here are the questions I asked Richard:  

You recently wrote a book called The Vibrant Vision: The Entrepreneurship of Multigenerational Family Business. Why did you write this book, why now? Who is this for? 

What is this model and Why is this model better?

What did you learn about family business by studying international firms? (treasures, story of Cleopatra, cultural value, and what this means)

In your book you highlight 8 lessons learned from growing the family business from $10m to $200m with 400 associates. They are: 

  • innovate/formulize your secret sauce, 
  • invest in human capital,
  • have a strategic plan,
  • customer focused quality, 
  • constant reinvestment, 
  • have an outside board of directors (counter entitlement), 
  • shareholder education and engagement (what are you doing for your family in this area?), and 
  • nourish your spirit (what does this mean?). 

Did I get those right? Can you pick one and share more about this lesson learned? 

What are your favorite family business resources?