Why Is The Topic of Entitlement “Taboo”?
The e-word – “entitlement” – comes up in almost every presentation or lecture I give, and in many family discussions. It has become almost a dirty word when it comes to family wealth – something to be avoided at all cost. “How can I prevent my children from becoming entitled?” is what most every parent wants to know.
When it comes to family business, limiting the negative impact of entitlement can be achieved by instilling leadership qualities in children, establishing good governance and a culture of accountability, and a sense of custodianship when making decisions about the family business.
Personally, I think there is too much negativity around entitlement. The vast majority of parents will transmit their wealth to their children, so the key challenge is to be realistic and manage children’s expectations (rather than avoid them). Being a little entitled isn’t nearly as bad as having no purpose or meaning, which is another ‘symptom’ of children in wealthy families. More about that another time.
Consider This: Do you consider your children ‘entitled’? If so, to what extent is this a product of how you brought them up? How much entitlement is too much?
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