Peter Roper The Family Business Man
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When a family business hands the baton over…

When a family business hands the baton over…
Last weekend the Italian F1 GP at Monza was unique in many ways. Instead of 100,000 Italian fans (the Tifosi as they are known) screaming after their beloved Ferrari, there were simply no spectators because of current restrictions.

In a topsy-turvy race, Ferrari faired badly, however, the locals did have a winner though – the Italian based Alpha Tauri team created a huge upset and the fireworks and national anthem were there for all to see and hear.

As the race finished spare a thought for a second-generation head of one of the Uk’s all-time great teams and a family business - Claire Williams, being thanked by her drivers. For several years Claire has held the responsibility of the business on her shoulders as her father Sir Frank Williams slowly passed over the baton.

She has resided over a very tough period in the team’s life resulting a few days ago in the sale of the business to venture capitalists and who knows where that will lead…

If ever you want to try and explain to friends who don’t have a family business what it means to a family and its members, and how a workforce values its family owners, then this short video would go a long way to illustrate how they feel.

The tears at the leaving presentation are real and are from all sides with no false platitudes and a gold watch, with a maybe ‘see you sometime’ attitude.

Family businesses operate in such a different way, values are held dear, employees are considered part of the extended family, clients as friends, suppliers as part of a team. We are very different.

When it is time to hand the baton over it is a very tough time for all. Williams GP Engineering will never be the same, but its history will never be forgotten and perhaps that is the best legacy a family business can ask for.

How about you? Are you building a legacy for future generations?

Perhaps you need a hand? You know where we are!

Until the next time…

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