“What will work for dad and daughter, who are also boss and subordinate — for the family and for this business?”

Nancy Drozdow

I host a weekly radio show on SiriusXM 111, Business Radio Powered by Wharton, called Work and Life. We publish edited versions of my conversations as free podcasts. I invite you to listen to the episode (embedded below) that is my conversation with Nancy Drozdow and Debbie Bing, two principals at CFAR; a private management consulting firm that focuses on both performance and relationships in family-owned businesses. CFAR was started as a research center at the Wharton School was established as an independent firm in 1987. Nancy Drozdow is a member of both the firm’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. She is nationally known for her expertise as a thinking partner to leaders, successors, and successor candidates across the family enterprise. Debbie Bing began at the company as a Project Consultant in 1998, became an Associate in 1999, a Principal in 2006, and president in 2016. Her assumption of the Presidency represents the shift to CFAR’s second generation of leaders.

In this episode we talk about the special challenges and opportunities in family-owned business. Nancy and Debbie have been consulting with family-owned businesses for many years; they know how difficult it can be to integrate work and family when these two domains are one and the same. Fortunately, families who work together can overcome the challenge of having both a productive business and meaningful family life. Debbie and Nancy stress the importance of clearly defining expectations as a key to success and offer great wisdom about what makes family-owned businesses so much fun.