The Family Champion
Behind every successful family there’s a family champion – they are the communicator, the “glue” and the cornerstone of the family unit.
The role of a family champion is a critical one in a family business. A business family champion is a leader who acts as a catalyst amongst the owners to bring them together as stakeholders and to engage in effective ownership while retaining their family identity. The family champion provides energy, alignment and the inspiration for everyone to work together to maintain and grow the family enterprise in an increasingly complex world. They focus on ensuring the family keeps motivated on the family capital, rather than a consistent focus on the business or financial capital.
Family businesses are quite often, by their very nature, multigenerational, geographically diverse and have all the complex family dynamic issues associated with family enterprises, so a family champion is cognisant to the complexities and navigates them carefully to embed trust with the family ownership structures.
The family champion is actively engaged in the family office, they are motivated to make things happen as an active owner and family member. They are a valuable resource to the entire family ownership group because of the unique sense of family and business and how the two intersect.
Lea Boyce, Director of BOYCE Family Office says, “Family Champions display a commitment to stewardship through their positivity and vision for what the family can achieve together – they are the custodian for the rising generations”. They can set the tone for the family and in turn this can flow to the business. While they are leaders, they also require support structures around them and they often work closely with trusted advisors to assist in keeping the focus, the governance and the momentum.
Each family is unique, and the family champion role is also unique to each family. However, the constants that define a family champion include communication, strategy, collectivism, vision and inclusion. They are the conduit between the family stakeholders and the business to ensure the values and goals of the family remain front of mind and that inclusive governance structures are in place.
The family champion role contributes to the success of a family office and a family business. They build collaboration through leadership and guide the family through the complexities of a multigenerational business family.
As a trusted advisor we work with family champions to keep them forging ahead and provide support in navigating family and business dynamics. We remind business families that at the end of it all they are family first and foremost and by working to embrace the family stakeholders, develops a stronger business.