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Let's Talk Family Enterprise

Aug 10, 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.



In this episode, Steve Legler speaks with David C. Bentall about David's latest book, Dear Younger Me: Wisdom for Family Enterprise Successors. They also discuss some of the traits that successors to family enterprises may want to develop and how FEAs might better "walk the walk" when working with enterprising family members.


Guest bio

David C. Bentall is the Founder and President of Next Step Advisors, based in Vancouver, BC, where he works with people from enterprising families in a variety of different capacities.


You can find out more about David C. Bentall on the Next Step website and LinkedIn.


Key Takeaways

[0:35] Steve Legler introduces David C. Bentall to the Let’s Talk Family Enterprise podcast. Steve and David met in 2013 when Steven taught the FEA program module, “Business Boards and Family Councils.” Steve invites David to discuss his latest book, Dear Younger Me: Wisdom for Family Enterprise Successors.


[1:50] After leading two back-to-back family meetings that didn’t go well, David sought answers. His book highlights key factors to ensuring better family meetings.


[5:38] All the traditional EQ traits are relevant for any business leader or aspiring leader who wants to be successful, but especially in the family enterprise. Family relationships are irreplaceable.


[8:24] David discovered that some leadership styles are not ideal for leading in a family enterprise. In his book, David points to certain people with leadership styles that apply well to a family business.


[10:53] David shares the single most damaging trait he had as a young family enterprise successor as well as the lessons he learned from it.


[13:24] In a family enterprise, successors can be very eager to get to the next step. David shares anecdotes that help highlight the idea that we ought to be grateful for the positions we have.


[17:35] Sometimes advisors think they are supposed to have all the answers. David shares some ways you can reframe questions and gain more information.


[20:26] David outlines the three truths that apply to almost all family enterprises transitioning from one generation to another.


[23:45] Fisk Johnson, CEO of SC Johnson, once said he knew there wasn’t going to be room for him in the company as long as his father was there. So he decided to go to school instead.


[28:05] David has been cultivating the trait of empathy. He shares why this is critical for family advisors, and how it has broadened his understanding of himself and others.


[30:37] David shares his book recommendations as well as his advice for advisors.

[34:30] Steve thanks David for joining the podcast and sharing his 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.
Family Enterprise Advisor designation (FEA)



Dear Younger Me: Wisdom for Family Enterprise Successors, by David C. Bentall

Deconstructing Conflict: Understanding Family Business, Shared Wealth and Power, by Doug Baumoel and Blair Trippe
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela, by Nelson Mandela

Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace, by Kim Phúc Phan Thi


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