Leadership Gene

Back Article Oct 9, 2018 By Torey Van Oot

It’s not just budding entrepreneurs benefitting from early exposure to the world of business.

Lois Lang, a partner with Evolve Partner Group in Stockton, has coached family companies on planning a successful and profitable future for 25-plus years. In the last decade, she’s added a new tier of mostly teenage clientele. Lang introduced new sessions for students ages 12–22 after realizing that even the best-run family businesses lack solid plans to bring the next generation into the fold.

Related: Youth entrepreneurship programs expand in the Capital Region

“Some kids will say they heard about the business a lot around the table, but they have no idea what it actually means and what the careers are, other than what their parents did,” she explains. “[And] a lot of parents have a hard time telling their children that they would like them to work some other place first.”

Lang helps facilitate conversations on everything, including org charts and leadership skills. Sometimes the outcomes are practical — one client signed up for a new college elective that could apply to his parents’ business. But the biggest benefit is the act of thinking about a future career path and the skills they’ll need. “The family business is like any other business and they need to not treat it like its a safety net to fall back on,” Lang says. “It’s something to prepare for, not to catch them if they fall.”