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The Voice of the Rising Generation: Family Wealth and Wisdom



The Voice of the Rising Generation: Family Wealth and Wisdom

James E. Hughes Jr., Susan E. Massenzio, Keith Whitaker

ISBN: 978-1-118-93652-8 September 2014 160 Pages



Avoid "Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves" by Finding Your Voice

Growing up in a family with significant wealth or a family business can often feel like an exercise in silence. What should you ask? Whom should you ask? When? Is it ever right to talk about such things?

The Voice of the Rising Generation speaks directly to those who find themselves living in that silence, the so-called "next generation." Great wealth or a family business can act like a "black hole," sapping the dreams and aspirations of future generations who feel that they can never measure up to the fortune's founder. This book, written by a psychologist, an educator, and a wise counselor who single-handedly changed the landscape of family wealth, diagnoses with economy and precision the cause of entitlement and dependency. It is not too much money or too few chores. It is the failure of rising generations to individuate, that is, to pursue their dreams, develop their resilience, and find their voice.

Many books are addressed to parents and grandparents who worry about the effects of wealth on their descendants. Almost alone in the field, this book speaks directly to 20-, 30- and 40-somethings, encouraging them—literally, giving them courage—to meet the challenge of integrating wealth's power into their lives, rather than disappearing into the black hole. Readers will:

  • Come to understand the true causes of entitlement and dependency
  • Identify the psychological characteristics of the rising generation and the challenges proper to its development
  • Clarify their own dreams, work, and vocation
  • Navigate personal relationships and communication within the context of wealth
  • Recognize the special challenges faced when rising is delayed until mid-life.

If you are a young person who is starting your life's journey and wondering about the effects of parental gifts, trusts, or a family business, this book will offer you questions, reflections, and lessons-learned to help you find your own way. If you are a parent, grandparent, elder, or mentor, The Voice of the Rising Generation can serve the young people in your life as a gift more precious than gold.

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

A Well-Known Family 1

The Challenge 2

The Journey 3

Our Approach 6

Aids to Navigation 7

Chapter 1 Setting Sail 13

The Black Hole 14

Talking about Silence 17

The Very Good Steward 19

The Meteor 19

Froggy 20

The Parallel Universe 21

The Anxious Heir 22

Mr. Reputable 22

The Grand Giver 23

Testing the Boundary 23

Mentor 26

Chapter 2 Rosy-Fingered Dawn 29

Awakening 29

Rising 30

Slings and Arrows 36

Chapter 3 Self-Knowledge 43

The Center 43

Internal and External 44

Dreams 45

Strengths and Hurdles 48

Individuation 51

Externals 54

The Balance Sheet 56

Chapter 4 Facing the Waves 61

Getting Away 61

Taking the Leap 63

Work 63

Relationships 73

Communication 78

Leaving Ithaca 81

Chapter 5 The Middle Passage 85

The Island of the Lotus-Eaters 85

The Middle Passage 87

A Forceful Hand 89

Self-Advocacy 93

Ownership 96

Leadership 98

Parenting in the Middle Passage 100

Questions for Rising on Your Own 102

Conclusion 107

Another Well-Known Family 107

Our Journey Thus Far 109

Searching for Elders 112

Returning to Mentor 115

Flying Away 118

Appendix 121

Questions for Reflection from the End of the Chapters 121

From the Introduction 121

From Chapter 1 121

From Chapter 2 121

From Chapter 3 122

From Chapter 4 122

From Chapter 5 122

From the Conclusion 122

Additional Tools 122

Possible Educational Pathways 123

For the Individual Journey 123

For Possible Workshops 124

For a Possible Family Gathering 125

Session One: Knowing Ourselves 126

Session Two: Resilience 128

Session Three: Action 129

About the Authors 133

Index 137