Managing a family business has rules all their own. They encounter difficulties any other enterprise faces, as well as adjust to relationship issues related to working together day in and day out. Family-owned businesses are unique. Complex issues are inherent in each. Building a profitable business while maintaining a successful marriage can be precarious at best. Integrating adult children into key company positions can be a source of optimism and success or it can lead to disaster.
Marshall W. Northington, Ph.D., delayed plans to begin his career as a counseling psychologist when, in 1980, he returned to Tucson to manage his family's construction-related business. His father had died suddenly, with no clear succession plans, and his mother had little knowledge of the business. So began Dr. Northington's unexpected 14 year education in managing a family-owned business and an opportunity to apply a formal education in psychology to the challenges of working with family members.