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Let's Talk Family Enterprise

Nov 9, 2021


Welcome to Let’s Talk Family Enterprise, a podcast that explores the ideas, concepts and models that best serve Family Enterprise Advisors in supporting their clients.


All views, information and opinions expressed during this podcast are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Family Enterprise Canada.



Ruth Steverlynck sits down with Gaia Marchisio and Wendy Sage-Hayward to discuss their soon-to-be released book, Own It: How to Develop an Owner’s Mindset at Every Age, co-authored alongside Barbara Dartt. Wendy and Gaia share why they wrote this book, what readers will learn, who will most benefit from reading it, as well as key learnings they each had during its development.


Guest bio

Wendy Sage-Hayward is the co-founder of SAGE Leadership Advisers Inc., a Vancouver-based leadership coaching and consulting company. She has 20+ years of experience in rebuilding and strengthening leadership and family teams to help them function as effective stewards of their business and family enterprise. She specializes in the “tough” cases such as derailing executives and business families in high conflict. Wendy earned a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia.


You can find out more about Wendy Sage Hayward on the Sage Advisors website, the Family Business Consulting Group and her LinkedIn.


Gaia Marchisio is a tenured Associate Professor of Management at the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University (GA, USA), and Executive Director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center. Gaia brings a unique combination of knowledge and experience from the fields of strategic management, behavioral science and entrepreneurship to her work with family businesses, combined with a growing expertise in family dynamics and conflict management.


You can find out more about Gaia Marchisio on the Family Enterprise Foundation website and her LinkedIn.


Key Takeaways

[0:26] Ruth Steverlynck welcomes Wendy Sage-Hayward and Gaia Marchisio to the podcast to discuss their latest book, Own It! Both guests share their diverse backgrounds.


[5:38] Ruth shares an interesting road trip story that involves all of today’s guests. She asks Gaia and Wendy what their individual impetus for writing the book was.


[8:11] Wendy speaks to the things she wishes she’d known when she became an owner in her family business and all of the things she had to learn while unprepared.


[14:12] Gaia shares how, in light of her introduction story, she began to work and study in the field of getting next generations ready for taking over.


[16:48] When it comes to next generation successors, Gaia opens the conversation on the three common struggle categories the book tackles as well as where these difficulties originate and how to best manage them.


[21:49] This is a book about education and growth. Gaia touches on who she believes the primary audience to be.


[24:46] There are common blind spots when it comes to running a family enterprise. Wendy shares a few of them, why they tend to occur and how collective learning can help mitigate most of them.


[28:52] Reflecting on ownership and stewardship is critical. Wendy shares some of the most profound questions families need to answer in order to pursue generational success.


[31:46] Gaia talks about what writing this book has meant to her in terms of deepening her understanding of belief systems and the sharing mindset.


[36:00] Wendy developed tremendous respect for diversity and a profound understanding of how complex the concept of ownership really is.


[38:46] Gaia and Wendy each share their piece of advice for other advisors as well as their reading recommendations.

[48:08] Ruth thanks Wendy and Gaia for joining the podcast and sharing their experience and expertise with the audience. Listeners, please subscribe!


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Mentioned in this episode

The Let’s Talk Family Enterprise podcast is brought to you by Family Enterprise Canada.



Own It!: How to Develop a Family Enterprise Owner's Mindset at Every Age, by Wendy Sage Hayward and Gaia Marchisio

Preparing Successors for Leadership: Another Kind of Hero, by Craig E. Aronoff and John Ward

The Voice of the Rising Generation: Family Wealth and Wisdom, by James E. Hughes Jr.

Boundaries in Human Relationships: How to Be Separate and Connected, by Anne Linden


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