Leadership, Legacy, and Emotional Process in Family Business

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Abstract

This article presents a model for the practice of consulting to family business that is grounded in Bowen Systems Theory. Concepts from the theory, such as differentiation of self, the emotional system, the multigenerational transmission process, triangles, and the projection process are defined and discussed. Translation of the theory into consultation is described through the presentation of a case. Emphasis throughout the article is on the consultant's calm management of self in the presence of anxious clients who are dealing with difficult family business dilemmas.

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