This week’s Lesson Found comes from a friend, Debby Abel, who recently wrote a beautiful essay on her family’s business and the legacy of integrity her parents gave her.

Debby’s family business, Abel Personnel, recently celebrated their 50th year in business.  Shortly before this momentous event, the business’ founder and Debby’s father, Frank Abel, passed away.  These two events led Debby to contemplate the lessons her parents provided (her mother Dottie having also worked in the business for 18 years) which she summarized in her essay Lessons for sustaining family-owned business. Here are the topline points of these lessons:

  • Lesson One: Ethics before profits
  • Lesson Two: Hire based on a strong work ethic instead of specific experience
  • Lesson Three: Understand financials
  • Lesson Four: Take a genuine interest in people
  • Lesson Five: Diversify” (both the business and personally)
  • Lesson Six: Deliver excellence
  • Lesson Seven: Lead by example”

Debby summarizes: “When employers invest the time to create a positive, supportive and ethically-grounded environment that never loses sight of their clients’ needs, the outcome is a successful business that can bridge the generations and meet the challenges of our modern, evolving economy.”  These are ideas every family business should live by!

Debby’s essay appeared in the Central Penn Business Journal and I urge everyone to visit CPBJ’s website to read the full essay.  And thank you Debby for sharing your family’s legacy with all of us.

What lessons are you giving your children to take them and your family business into the next generation?

Life brings us lessons every day.  Sometimes from expected sources.  And sometimes from sources and situations we never would have thought possible.  Either way, they are a gift found. I am fortunate to find these types of lessons regularly and wanted to share them with you with this weekly series of “Lessons Found”.
Did you recently receive the gift of a Lesson Found that has helped you with management, marketing or another aspect in business? I would love to hear about it. Comment below or send me an email to let me know.