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The “3rd Chapter”: Writing Your Legacy with Edward Monte

As you enter the “3rd Chapter” of life, you will begin to polish the legacy you’ll leave within your family business. At our Legacy Conference on September 29, Edward Monte, Ph.D, will discuss how embrace this phase and make each moment count. Get a preview of his insights here:



What challenges do family businesses face when exploring the “3rd Chapter?”

Family businesses succeed and thrive based on how well the family functions. Therefore, successfully facing any challenges in family business will revolve around the emotional health of its leaders – the upper generation.

On the surface, succession and the movement to a meaningful next chapter, for both upper and lower generation, would appear to be a dynamic and interesting transition.  One would assume that this chapter holds great rewards and opportunities for both generations.  Then why is exploring this “3rd Chapter” often the most intense, classic trauma of any family business?  Quite frankly, it’s because what lurks slightly beneath the surface is the overwhelming reality of death.  There is no “4th Chapter” for the upper generation.

The heroic challenge of the upper generation is to lead the family with courage, self-reflection, self-knowledge, the ability to communicate vulnerabilities, negotiation, ability to give up control, the ability to parent in the midst of reinventing oneself and, most importantly, to build a legacy of a life worth emulating.


How does the concept of legacy show up in sustaining a family business?

Legacy, as a concept, is too often treated like a good eulogy….. No matter how the deceased has actually lived, we can find some turn of phrase to make him sound nobler than he ever was.  Stretch the truth a little, change the history, everyone feels good and we all go home.

But, legacy isn’t a turn of phrase or an idealized mission statement.  It is the embodiment of one’s values, beliefs and, most importantly, how one actually lived one’s life. The hope is that the legacy one leaves raises the nobility and integrity of the family and family business and will be the sustaining force over decades  Problem is, a legacy imbued with such things as disconnection, greed, narcissism, exclusivity, emotional cut off and other less noble characteristics can equally be sustained in the family and the family business.

One goal in the “3rd Chapter” is to honestly look at the legacy one has constructed over a lifetime.  What have you modeled for your family and your family business?  What messages are you most proud of having given and which need to be altered?  The good news is that legacies can be built up to the end of one’s life.  It’s never too late.  This is the legacy of Ebenezer Scrooge.


What would you like to share with our Member Community? What do you think family business members need to hear?

My biggest hope is that families in family business talk about real things. When you’re talking about “real things,” it feels powerful, difficult, scary, exciting, and completely the opposite of clear rationality and anecdote. It feels important. Legacy contains all the above characteristics. It is a reflection of what a family, and a family business, contributes to the human experience. In a hundred years, no one is going to remember that you sold widgets. What they are going to know is how you, as a family, constructed a world that enhanced the quality of life of those you touched.

Meet Edward and other Legacy Speakers at our conference on Sept. 29th.  Register today!


Edward Monte, Ph.D., Family Solutions Group

Edward P. Monte, Ph.D. has been a couple and family therapist for over 40 years.  He is the founding principal of Family Solutions Group – a family business / family office consulting firm recently relocated from Philadelphia to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Edward’s concentration is on parent – adult child relationship issues that impact family businesses:  particularly the complex dynamics between fathers and sons.  He was on faculty at the University of Pennsylvania for the past 20 years and has taught in the Loyola Family Business Center’s Next Generation Leadership Program for 17 years.  Edward is presently the Clinical Fellow of the Loyola Family Business Center.

He has presented extensively nationally and internationally and pulls from his most valuable credential as a third generation son in a family business.


Thank you, Edward, for taking the time to share your insights! To hear more from Edward, register for our Legacy Conference. To keep up with our blog posts, like our Facebook Page!


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