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Opinion | Talk Less. Listen More. Here’s How. -
Jan. 9, 2020 | The New York Times |

* By Kate Murphy, is the author of “You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters.”

Listening can be more valuable than speaking. Wars have been fought, fortunes lost and friendships wrecked for lack of listening. It is only by listening that we engage, understand, empathize, cooperate and develop as human beings. It is fundamental to any successful relationship — personal, professional and political.....The sad truth is that people have more experience being cut off, ignored and misunderstood than heard to their satisfaction.....listening goes beyond simply hearing what people say. It also involves paying attention to how they say it and what they do while they are saying it, in what context, and how what they say resonates within you......It’s not about merely holding your peace while someone else holds forth. Quite the opposite. A lot of listening has to do with how you respond — the degree to which you facilitate the clear expression of another person’s thoughts and, in the process, crystallize your own.......Good listeners ask good questions......anyone can be interesting if you ask the right questions......ask truly curious questions that don’t have the hidden agenda of fixing, saving, advising, convincing or correcting. Curious questions don’t begin with “Wouldn’t you agree…?” or “Don’t you think…?” and they definitely don’t end with “right?” The idea is to explore the other person’s point of view, not sway it..........Avoid leading questions like, “Do you shop late a night because you didn’t get around to it during the day?” or “Do you shop at night because that’s when they restock the shelves?” Instead, she turned her question into an invitation: “Tell me about the last time you went grocery shopping late at night.” 
In social situations, avoid peppering people with judgmental, personal or appraising questions--questions that rank the other party in a social hierarchy.........Instead, ask about people about their interests. Try to find out what excites or aggravates them — their daily pleasures or what keeps them up at night [JCK: passions??] ..... ..........Because our brains can think a lot faster than people can talk, beware of the tendency to take mental side trips when you should be listening. Smart people are particularly apt to get distracted by their own galloping thoughts. They are also more likely to assume they already know what the other person is going to say..........The reward of good listening will almost certainly be more interesting conversations........it’s human nature to return courtesies .......listening to other people makes it more likely other people will listen to you.........Listening is a skill. And as with any skill, it degrades if you don’t do it enough.......each of us can become a better listener with practice. The more people you listen to, the more aspects of humanity you will recognize, and the better your instincts will be. Listening well can help you understand other people’s attitudes and motivations, which is essential in building cooperative and productive relationships, as well as discerning which relationships you’d be better off avoiding.......listening poorly, selectively or not at all limits your understanding of the world and prevents you from becoming the best you can be.
 books  Communicating_&_Connecting  contextual  conversations  courtesies  dining  family  independent_viewpoints  listening  passions  pay_attention  questions  relationships  skills  smart_people  social_hierarchy  tips 
6 weeks ago by jerryking
What’s Left After a Family Business Is Sold?
Aug. 9, 2019 | The New York Times | By Paul Sullivan

Having a pile of money after a company is sold, in place of a company, with all of its stress and complications, would seem like a relief. But a company often holds families together by giving members a shared identity and conferring a status in the community established by previous generations.

Without the company, the family’s perception of itself and its purpose can change, and it is often something that members are not prepared for. Their focus was on running the business and then on the sale; little thought went into what comes next......“The key to doing it successfully is how you prepare yourself and how you prepare your family. It’s really a lifestyle choice.”

If families do not do it right, splitting apart is almost inevitable. “A shared business becomes very much a glue,” ....“When the business is sold, what we see in almost every situation is some family member splits away.” .....Most advisers say the sale of a family business should focus on the transition from operating a company to managing a portfolio of money, not on the money itself. Sometimes the magnitude of the sale becomes an issue for a family’s identity, particularly if the acquisition price becomes public......some families focus more on the money than the traits that made the business successful, and fail to grasp the difference between an operating business and financial capital. ....years before the sale, the family had been formulating a plan for its wealth that focused on family values but also held the members accountable. A family scorecard, for example, tracks their progress on 40 items that the family has deemed important, including working hard, investing wisely and the protecting its legacy.
Mr. Deary said the family used the scorecard to objectively answer the question: “Are we constantly trying to get a little bit better every day at what we do?”

As the wealth stretches out and families grow, those values can become a substitute for the company.
.....continuing education about a family’s values, particularly when the company was gone, allowed successive generations to understand where their wealth came from.

Those values often work best when they are broad — honesty, integrity, hard work — and not so specific that family members chafe. “The loose binds bind best,”

Family relationships can suffer when there are no shared values but strong financial connections, like a large trust or partnership that manages the wealth.
accountability  exits  family  family_business  family_office  family_scorecards  family_values  generations  generational_wealth  heirs  liquidity_events  money_management  purpose  relationships  Second_Acts  self-perception  unprepared  values  wealth_management 
august 2019 by jerryking
Andrea Illy: adapting a family business to a multinational world
JULY 20, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Rachel Sanderson.

*The coffee group chairman argues his style of capitalism is good for business, workers and the consumer*

Andrea Illy, third generation heir of the Illycaffè dynasty, last year struck an alliance with investment group JAB Holdings to produce and distribute Illy coffee capsules...he makes it clear that he does not intend to sell the closely held family company..... “It is a very simple principle about preserving our freedom,” he says of his and his family’s decision, one....Freedom is a word that comes up frequently in conversation with Mr Illy.....who espouses a sort of pick-and-mix version of capitalism, resolutely refusing to focus only on sales and profits. Illy argues his style of capitalism is not charity but good business.......Illy has paid its growers on average 30% more over market value for decades in order to maintain its supply of top Arabica beans. “....The company is rooted in the border city of Trieste....which is also ingrained in the nature of the family......globalisation and increasing competition in the coffee sector has forced Illy to adapt. Staying closely held does not work any more. Co-opetition is his new mantra."“It is like the way to adapt in the savannah. If you do not want to be prey to the big lion, you live in a tree.”"

Part of that adaptation has been the deal with JAB, which allowed Illy coffee capsules to be produced and distributed in supermarkets globally, something that Illy could not do alone......The global coffee industry has become increasingly like the beer tie-ups of the 1990s, with big groups such as JAB and Nestlé snapping up smaller companies. Illy has risked being squeezed between these behemoths and the microroasters emerging as the hip caffeine hit for millennials and Gen Z.....Bigger groups have circled Illy for years. Mr Illy says the family chose JAB because it had the technology he wanted and accepted a licensing agreement rather than an equity one.....To build its global presence, Mr Illy is now looking for a retail partner in the US to help launch Illy coffee bars in the world’s largest coffee market. He says he could even sell a slice of equity. But he is very specific who it would be to: a private financial investor, not an industrial group.....there have been other adaptations. Three years ago, Illy hired an outside chief executive — Massimiliano Pogliani, a former executive at Nestlé’s Nespresso — for the first time since the company was founded in 1933 by Mr Illy’s grandfather, Francesco. Mr Illy has also built a board including executives from clothing group Moncler and Italian cosmetics group Kiko...... studies show that family businesses often fail in the third generation. The move to hire outside management and governance comes as studies also show that family-owned, professionally-run companies are among the best performing in the long term. ......Mr Illy sees these alliances as the only way for a family business model to thrive and to not have to cede control to a multinational when “complexity is becoming too big for a single person to manage”.
.....good stewardship is good business......The Illy family is a supporter of arts and culture, including Trieste’s annual sailing regatta, the Barcolana, where hundreds of boats race across the bay. Mr Illy says this creates a virtuous circle: the more attractive Trieste becomes, the more talented people Illy can attract to work for it and the more visitors come to the city and raise its brand profile........A portrait of his father Ernesto hangs opposite his desk. “I put the painting there to ask him to control what I do,” Mr Illy says.

What, then, has he learnt from his family? “Society is made by the private sector, mostly. And if you want to improve society then we need to be able to pursue long-term goals which are beyond profitability, and then you have to be free and accountable only to yourself,” he says.

Three questions for Andrea Illy
Who is your leadership hero? I have three: Muhtar Kent, former chairman of Coca-Cola; my father; Sebastião Salgado [the photojournalist].

If you were not a CEO/leader, what would you be? A neurosurgeon.

What was the first leadership lesson you learnt? My father asked me when I turned 14 years old where I wanted to go to school. Do you want to start a journey to be a leader or do you want to have fun? I chose the first option and as a result chose boarding school in Switzerland over a local school at home. There I learnt about discipline and hard work but also about the power of a charismatic leader from my headmaster.
alliances  boards_&_directors_&_governance  climate_change  coffee  coopetition  dynasties  family  family_business  family-owned_businesses  financial_buyers  heirs  high-quality  Illycaffè  investors  JAB  licensing  Nestlé  premium  private_equity  privately_held_companies  stewardship  sustainability  the_counsel_of_the_dead  virtuous_cycles 
july 2019 by jerryking
How to trace your family tree
AUGUST 30, 2018 | Financial Times | Andy Tilbrook.
ancestry  family  howto 
september 2018 by jerryking
An unusual family approach to investing
May 30, 2018 | FT | John Gapper.

JAB’s acquisition of Pret A Manger resembles private equity but with a long-term twist.

Warren Buffett’s definition of Berkshire Hathaway’s ideal investment holding period as forever. ....Luxembourg-based JAB, owned by four heirs to a German chemical fortune, takes a family approach to investing. It is unusual in that this holding company seeks to retain its portfolio companies for at least a decade. These include Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme and Keurig Green Mountain coffee, which it merged with Dr Pepper Snapple in an $18.7bn deal in January 2018. This week JAB acquired the UK sandwich chain Pret A Manger for £1.5bn, continuing its buying spree of cafés and coffee, mounting a challenge to public companies such as Nestlé.

**These companies are acquired not to be traded but to be invested in and expanded.**

JAB is an innovative combination of ownership and investment in a world that needs challengers to stock market ownership and private equity. It is family controlled, but run by veteran professional executives. When it invests in companies such as Pret A Manger, it deploys not only the Reimann family’s wealth but that of other entrepreneurs and family investors.......Some of the equity for its recent deals, including Panera and Dr Pepper, came from funds raised by Byron Trott, the former Goldman Sachs investment banker best known for being trusted by the banker-averse Mr Buffett. Mr Trott’s BDT banking boutique specialises in advising founders and heirs to corporate fortunes, including the Waltons of Walmart, and the Mars and Pritzker families.

This is investment, but not as most of us know it. By definition, the world’s companies are mostly controlled by founders and their families — only a minority become big enough to be floated on stock markets and need to disclose much of their workings to outsiders. Family fortunes also tend to remain as private as possible: there is little incentive to advertise how much wealth one has inherited......As [families'] fortunes grow in size and sophistication, more of the cash is invested in other companies rather than in shares and bonds. That is where JAB and Mr Trott come in.

Entrepreneurs and their families tend to be fascinated by their own enterprises and bored by managing their wealth. But they want to preserve it, and they often like the idea of investing it in companies similar to their own — industrial and consumer groups that need more capital to expand. It is not only more interesting but a form of self-affirmation for the successful....Being acquired by JAB is appealing. The group turns up, says it will not take part in an auction but offers a good price (it bought Pret for more than its former owner Bridgepoint could get by floating it). It often keeps the existing executives, telling them they have to plough their own money into the company, and invests in long-term growth provided the business is efficiently run.

This is more congenial than heading a public company and contending with a huge variety of shareholders, including short-term and activist investors. It is also less risky than being bought by 3G Capital, the cost-cutting private equity group with which Mr Buffett teamed up to acquire Kraft Heinz. While 3G is expert at eliminating expenses it is less so at encouraging growth.
coffee  dynasties  high_net_worth  holding_periods  investing  investors  JAB  long-term  Nestlé  Pritzker  private_equity  privately_held_companies  Unilever  unusual  Warren_Buffett  family  cafés  Pret_A_Manger  3G_Capital  discretion  entrepreneur  boring  family_business  heirs 
may 2018 by jerryking
Fighting the tendency to drift apart
APRIL 7, 2000 | The Globe and Mail| SEAN FINE.

An Intentional Family is one whose members create a working plan to stay connected. The plan is centred on rituals such as family meals, holiday celebrations and special occasions such as weddings, birthdays and bar mitzvahs.

"At heart, the Intentional Family is a ritualizing family," writes Dr. Doherty, director of the marriage and family therapy program at the University of Minnesota. "In the face of the obstacles and distractions of modern life, Intentional Families find a way to use meals to feed their souls along with their bodies.".....People assume that "if you love each other, the family will take care of itself" -- but that is not the case. "Some people lose a focus on what do we need to do as a family to maintain our ties with each other.

"I think it's a real problem. Increasingly, with our very busy families, dinner is likely to be the only opportunity for everyone to be together having a conversation."

The importance of family rituals has grown as religion and community have faded
disconnecting  children  parenting  rituals  intentionality  entropy  dining  family  Communicating_&_Connecting 
november 2017 by jerryking
Why wealthy families lose their fortunes in three generations - The Globe and Mail
AUGUSTA DWYER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017

Among the causes of the phenomenon are taxes, inflation, bad investment decisions and the natural dilution of assets as they are shared among generations of heirs.

Yet among the most compelling causes are younger family members who are ill-prepared or unwilling to shoulder the responsibility of wealth stewardship. They have grown up with plenty of money and are a step or two removed from the work ethic and drive of the people who made it for them.

“There is a risk of entitlement that comes to the fore, and that is where things tend to go off the rails,” says Thane Stenner, director of wealth management at Vancouver-based StennerZohny Investment Partners, part of Richardson GMP.

The key to overcoming that, he adds, is communication, which means “family discussions, family meetings, and trying to be very proactively engaging with the next generation, rather than reactive.

“Successful families are basically talking a lot to them about what the previous generation has done and engaging them by asking about their own dreams and aspirations. And really helping to enlighten them, or get them excited about their own future and how the family can help fund that future, but in a very responsible, business-like way.”

According to Mr. McCullough, almost as much time and effort should be spent in preparing the heirs to receive the wealth as actually investing and managing it.

“That involves understanding what your family’s set of values is,” he says.
attrition_rates  wealth_management  family  values  stewardship  generational_wealth  Tom_McCullough  Northwood  family-owned_businesses  family_business  Communicating_&_Connecting  mission_statements  entitlements  mindsets  family_office  work_ethic  heirs 
january 2017 by jerryking
The Money Letter That Every Parent Should Write - The New York Times
By RON LIEBER JUNE 17, 2016

"....consider the old-fashioned letter. It’s long enough to tell some tales to bolster your advice, and if it’s written with enough soul, there’s a good chance the recipient will keep it for a long time. Plus, it’s a literal conversation piece, since the good letters will inspire more curiosity about how the writers oversee their own financial affairs....A good letter, according to Ms. Palmer, should include at least one story about a large financial challenge and another one about a big money triumph. Then, include a list of crucial habits and the tangible things they have helped the family achieve.

HEED YOUR IGNORANCE Quite often, the best stories and takeaways come from the biggest mistakes.
BEWARE OF GENIUS: Don’t trust the person who claims to be omniscient either.
STICK TO YOUR SELLING PLANS We can be blinded by flattery from the seats of power,” “Be aware of this in your business lives.” Selling something that is still valuable is the hardest part of any trade, he added. So if you can’t name three good reasons to continue owning something, then it’s time to sell.
BUDGETS ARE ABOUT VALUES. What you spend says a lot about what you stand for, and if you don’t like what your own notebook says about you, try to make it look different next month.
personal_finance  parenting  Communicating_&_Connecting  writing  investing  investors  mentoring  values  budgets  advice  self-discipline  lessons_learned  wisdom  habits  financial_planning  ownership  ignorance  origin_story  takeaways  family  storytelling  financial_challenges  family_office  generational_wealth  soul-enriching  coverletters  unsentimental 
june 2016 by jerryking
Three generations of de Gaspé Beaubien family give back to Canada - The Globe and Mail
ROY MACGREGOR
GATINEAU, QUE. — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 05, 2015

Working with Ottawa Riverkeeper’s capable executive director, Meredith Brown, the partnership last weekend hosted a summit, AquaHacking 2015, in a hotel just across the river from Parliament Hill. With the help of co-sponsor IBM, they held a “hackathon” and gave out $20,000 in prizes to computer wizards who came up with the best applications to help gather data on the health of the river. Some came from as far away as California to compete.
philanthropy  family  family-owned_businesses  water  family_business  public_service  Quebec  civics  youth  leadership  giving  serving_others 
june 2015 by jerryking
The Right Way to Do Family Time - WSJ
By JENNIFER BREHENY WALLACE
April 3, 2015
family  howto  parenting 
april 2015 by jerryking
Giving Good Praise to Girls: What Messages Stick
April 24, 2013 || MindShift |Katrina Schwartz |

This research suggests parents and educators should rethink what implicit and explicit messages are being sent to young girls about achievement.

If adults emphasize that all skills are learned through a process of engagement, value challenge and praise efforts to supersede frustration rather than only showing excitement over the right answer, girls will show resilience.... “Mother’s praise to their babies, one to three years of age, predicts that child’s mindset and desire for challenge five years later,” Dweck said. “It doesn’t mean it is set in stone, but it means that kind of value system — what you’re praising, what you say is important — it’s sinking in. And the kids who are getting this process praise, strategy and taking on hard things and sticking to them, those are the kids who want the challenge.” Dweck understands it isn’t easy to praise process and emphasize the fun in challenging situations. Kids like direct praise, but to Dweck lauding achievement is like feeding them junk food – it’s bad for them.

[RELATED READING: How Important is Grit in Student Achievement?]

An implicit argument here is that failure in small doses is good. [JCK: Nassim Nicholas Taleb's concept of antifragility] Dweck’s not the first person to make that argument; advocates of game-based learning say one of its strongest attributes lies in a player’s ability to fail and start over without being stigmatized. Students learn as they go, getting better each time they attempt a task in the game. But the current education system leaves little room for failure, and consequently anxious parents often don’t tolerate small setbacks either.

“If you have little failures along the way and have them understand that’s part of learning, and that you can actually derive useful information about what to do next, that’s really useful,” Dweck said.

She believes families should sit around the dinner table discussing the day’s struggles and new strategies for attacking the problem. In life no one can be perfect, and learning to view little failures as learning experiences, or opportunities to grow could be the most valuable lesson of all.
antifragility  appreciation  conversations  daughters  dining  failure  family  feedback  girls  grit  hard_work  parenting  persistence  praise  process-orientation  resilience  values  value_systems 
april 2014 by jerryking
African Guyanese would require an empowering familial-ethnic environment and an enabling political-economic one to be successful in business
August 21, 2013 | Stabroek News | F. Hamley Casep.

Few African Guyanese grow up in an environment in which table conversation is centred around business matters or matters to do with the production and supply of goods and services. Sadly, African Guyanese may be more inclined to discuss the day’s purchases rather than the day’s sales, for the simple reason that African Guyanese economic activity tends more towards consumption rather than production or supply. Generally speaking, African Guyanese do not see themselves as having the means to produce ‒ land, labour or capital ‒ at their disposal, yet see these as prerequisites for venturing into business for themselves. The problem is compounded by the near absence of ethnic role models. In this sense I feel the problem is one of environment as much as education. In fact the two go hand in hand.

Though as Carl Greenidge says, “The education system should be teaching students about the value of business and what is required to be an entrepreneur” and has failed to do so, the system on its own cannot teach people to be risk takers. It is only the immediate environment that can build the level of self-confidence required to make the difference. There is no substitute for growing up in the environment of a family which is not dysfunctional where Uncle Peter is a car dealer, Aunt Sharon owns a supermarket and Cousin Kimberly owns a successful restaurant. These close-to-home realities have a far greater impact on a young person’s realization that they too can become a successful business person.
Afro-Guyanese  letters_to_the_editor  economic_development  entrepreneurship  generational_wealth  consumption  role_models  entrepreneur  risk-taking  factors_of_production  family  cultural_values  consumer_mindset  producer_mindset  rituals  dining 
august 2013 by jerryking
The Family Stories That Bind Us — This Life - NYTimes.com
By BRUCE FEILER
Published: March 15, 2013

The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative..... Psychologists have found that every family has a unifying narrative, he explained, and those narratives take one of three shapes.

First, the ascending family narrative: “Son, when we came to this country, we had nothing. Our family worked. We opened a store. Your grandfather went to high school. Your father went to college. And now you. ...”

Second is the descending narrative: “Sweetheart, we used to have it all. Then we lost everything.”

“The most healthful narrative,” Dr. Duke continued, “is the third one. It’s called the oscillating family narrative: ‘Dear, let me tell you, we’ve had ups and downs in our family. We built a family business. Your grandfather was a pillar of the community. Your mother was on the board of the hospital. But we also had setbacks. You had an uncle who was once arrested. We had a house burn down. Your father lost a job. But no matter what happened, we always stuck together as a family.’ ”

Dr. Duke said that children who have the most self-confidence have what he and Dr. Fivush call a strong “intergenerational self.” They know they belong to something bigger than themselves.... Any number of occasions work to convey this sense of history: holidays, vacations, big family get-togethers, even a ride to the mall. The hokier the family’s tradition, he said, the more likely it is to be passed down. He mentioned his family’s custom of hiding frozen turkeys and canned pumpkin in the bushes during Thanksgiving so grandchildren would have to “hunt for their supper,” like the Pilgrims.
bouncing_back  Communicating_&_Connecting  family  family_breakdown  family_trees  generational_wealth  legacies  mission_statements  narratives  origin_story  resilience  sense-of-belonging  storytelling  the_single_most_important  values 
june 2013 by jerryking
Run Your Family Like a Business - WSJ.com
February 10, 2013 | WSJ | By BRUCE FEILER.

Family Inc.
A new generation of parents is taking solutions from the workplace and transferring them to the home. From accountability checklists to branding sessions, the result is a bold new blueprint for happy families.
family  parenting  accountability  checklists  blueprints 
february 2013 by jerryking
When a Genealogy Hobby Digs Up Unwanted Secrets - WSJ.com
January 15, 2013 |WSJ | By SUE SHELLENBARGER.

When a Genealogy Hobby Digs Up Unwanted Secrets
Some One in Five Find Unsavory Ancestors; How 'Sausage King' Got Rid of Wife


Like this columnist
Sue_Shellenbarger  genealogy  ancestry  family  secrets 
january 2013 by jerryking
Two Classes in America, Divided by ‘I Do’ - NYTimes.com
July 14, 2012 | NYT | By JASON DePARLE.

The economic storms of recent years have raised concerns about growing inequality and questions about a core national faith, that even Americans of humble backgrounds have a good chance of getting ahead. Most of the discussion has focused on labor market forces like falling blue-collar wages and lavish Wall Street pay.

But striking changes in family structure have also broadened income gaps and posed new barriers to upward mobility. College-educated Americans like the Faulkners are increasingly likely to marry one another, compounding their growing advantages in pay. Less-educated women like Ms. Schairer, who left college without finishing her degree, are growing less likely to marry at all, raising children on pinched paychecks that come in ones, not twos.

Estimates vary widely, but scholars have said that changes in marriage patterns — as opposed to changes in individual earnings — may account for as much as 40 percent of the growth in certain measures of inequality.
marriage  parenting  family  family_breakdown  income  income_distribution  Matthew_effect  social_classes  college-educated  social_mobility  self-perpetuation  compounded  blue-collar  inequality 
july 2012 by jerryking
Websites Combine DNA, Social Networks - WSJ.com
May 15, 2012 | WSJ | By GEOFFREY A. FOWLER
Websites Use DNA to Create Family Trees
Combining Social Networking and Mapping Technology Helps Find Family Members People Didn't Know They Had
DNA  family  genealogy  testing  ancestry 
may 2012 by jerryking
Entrepreneur's Enigma
March 2004 | Worth | Dwight Cass (Editor-in-Chief)

Nearly 90% of the nation's entrepreneurs want their firms to remain in family hands after they exit the scene...."If you want to have a good family business, it's important to have a good family"
family-owned_businesses  family_business  entrepreneur  values  family 
may 2012 by jerryking
Free-Market Socialism - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
January 23, 2012

Adam Davidson’s illuminating article in the current issue of The Atlantic is important because it shows the interplay between economic forces (globalization and technology) and social forces (single parenthood and the breakdown of community support). Globalization and technological change increase the demands on workers; social decay makes it harder for them to meet those demands.

Across America, millions of mothers can’t rise because they don’t have adequate support systems as they try to improve their skills. Tens of millions of children have poor life chances because they grow up in disorganized environments that make it hard to acquire the social, organizational and educational skills they will need to become productive workers.

Tens of millions of men have marred life chances because schools are bad at educating boys, because they are not enmeshed in the long-term relationships that instill good habits and because insecure men do stupid and self-destructive things.

Over the past 40 years, women’s wages have risen sharply but, as Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney of the Hamilton Project point out, median incomes of men have dropped 28 percent and male labor force participation rates are down 16 percent. Next time somebody talks to you about wage stagnation, have them break it down by sex. It’s not only globalization and technological change causing this stagnation. It’s the deterioration of the moral and social landscape, especially for men.
children  David_Brooks  disorganization  equality_of_opportunity  family  family_breakdown  gender_gap  globalization  habits  insecurity  joblessness  Obama  relationships  self-destructive  single_parents  social_decay  social_fabric  support_systems  technological_change  underclass  wage_stagnation 
january 2012 by jerryking
The need for fathers
Nov 29, 2005 | The Globe and Mail. pg. A.20 | Wayne Harris.

I am a Jamaican-born Canadian. It disheartens me to see Selwyn Pieters (Boys Without Dads -- letter, Nov. 28) and others claim that "systemic racism" in institutions and schools is "forcing black kids to drop out" and that this is part of the "big picture" of why black youth is in such a quandary.

Your editorial (The Many Fatherless Boys In Black Families -- Nov. 26) says it like it is. The root cause starts in the home, not the community.

If the fathers were there to guide, teach, nurture and lead, then the community would not have to provide focused counselling and intervention.
ProQuest  letters_to_the_editor  fatherhood  dysfunction  family  systemic_discrimination  the_big_picture 
november 2011 by jerryking
The need for fathers
Nov 29, 2005| The Globe and Mail pg. A.20 | Carol Richards-Sauer.

Your editorial rightly claims we need to admit that the absence of black fathers contributes to social alienation and violent behaviour among some of their sons. The silence that you decry, however, is not universal.

Recently, I have participated in a town-hall meeting and been in the audience at a round-table discussion about gun violence.

Each time, at least one brave black person from the audience spoke about the issue. Each time, their comments sparked little discussion or self-evaluation.

The topic is rarely addressed because too many community leaders, often self-appointed, have become too focused on blaming forces from without that we can't control as primary or sole causes of black disenfranchisement.

We need to recognize also those forces from within that we can control. We need to characterize ourselves not just as people to whom bad things are done (racism, police brutality, school suspensions etc.) but also as people who make choices that sometimes lead to bad results.

This is necessary to make any true change and to win helpful alliances
ProQuest  fatherhood  family  dysfunction  African_Canadians  disenfranchisement  silence  individual_choice  autonomy  violence  killings  family_breakdown  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  beyond_one's_control 
november 2011 by jerryking
Boys without dads
Nov 28, 2005| The Globe and Mail. pg. A.14 | Robert Sciuk.

Finally, someone has had the guts to stand up and speak the truth of the dysfunctional family and the impact that growing up fatherless has upon the children and the teens of both sexes within the black communities (The Many Fatherless Boys In Black Families -- editorial, Nov. 26). While The Globe brings to light the issues, it holds back from stating the obvious fact that our government provides financial incentives to perpetuate the situation.

In Canada, we have strong, state-sponsored financial incentives for unwed teenage mothers to have and to keep their children, even in the absence of a caring nuclear family with which to provide a proper upbringing. Perhaps it's time to adjust the way we help these troubled teens to avoid unwanted conceptions rather than reward them financially for having babies.
ProQuest  letters_to_the_editor  silence  African_Canadians  courage  dysfunction  family  fatherhood  family_breakdown  out-of-wedlock 
november 2011 by jerryking
Fatherless, yes, but no statistic
Oct 21, 2010 | The Globe and Mail. pg. A.21 | Haille Bailey-Harris.

So one day, she went to the principal's office and the two of them developed a plan, a sort of intervention to ensure I didn't end up as one of those statistics. This was the plan:

Find other role models. My mom made sure I was surrounded by very positive adults, male and female. I'm lucky to have two big brothers, who've been great father figures, and one of my uncles sort of took me under his wing. And I was lucky to have teachers, two women in particular, who really believed in me.

Create a community family. Big Brothers and Big Sisters provided a great big sister for me. We waited for a big brother for a year, but there weren't enough men willing to join up, they said. And now I have a mentor through their program, too. My mom also enrolled me in programs offered by the school, community centre, church and public library that all helped me to feel accepted.

Nurture a love of reading. Instead of banning me from video games, my mom got me games that also required me to read (like Pokemon) and encouraged me to get books (even comics) that interested me. Gradually, I wanted to read books and, eventually, I wanted to read everything, all the time.

Do community service. My mom and I volunteer in our community because giving back makes you feel good about yourself. I've already finished the required volunteer hours to get my high-school diploma by helping kids read at the public library, and working at a homeless shelter and for the Raptors Foundation.

Eventually, with the help of our battle plan, I grew wiser and realized I had great potential (as do all children, no matter the circumstances). I started to try harder in school, I found better friends and became a role model myself.
ProQuest  African_Canadians  high_schools  self-help  statistics  fatherhood  letters_to_the_editor  strategies  family  dysfunction  role_models  parenting  self-reliance 
november 2011 by jerryking
The many fatherless boys in black families
Nov 26, 2005 | The Globe and Mail. pg. A.26 | Editorials

...Yet as politicians at all three levels and black community leaders scramble for answers to the anarchy, no one has dared talk about the crisis of fatherlessness in the black community.

The silence is inexcusable. Growing up without a father present is now the norm for many black children in Canada, particularly those of Jamaican ancestry. Nearly half of all black children under 14 in Canada have just one parent in the home, compared to slightly under one in five of Canadian children as a whole, census figures from 2001 show. Two in three Jamaican-Canadian children in Toronto are being raised by a single parent...."without strong, self-sacrificing, frugal and industrious fathers as role models, our boys go astray, never learn how to be parents (or men), and perpetuate the dismal situation of single-parent homes run by tired and overworked black women. The black family as a survival unit fails, which leads to the ever-fragile community collapsing along with it."

Poor neighbourhoods in Toronto are crying out for involved fathers. The city's deputy police chief, Keith Forde, who is black, says that invariably when he speaks to predominantly black audiences, two or three mothers approach him to be a Big Brother to their sons. "Nothing hurtsme more in all I do in policing than hav-ing to say no to these parents."

Girls' lives, too, are deeply harmed in fatherless communities. At least a decade ago, Mr. Forde heard from 13- and 14-year-old girls in Rexdale, a dangerous suburb of Toronto, that the boys were insisting: "If you want to be my girlfriend you have to get pregnant for me."...The "survival unit," the black family, is being fatally weakened by the lack of fathers. No matter how helpful social programs, additional police or tougher gun laws may be, they are not the heart of the problem. Reuniting fathers and children should be the top priority. Where are the black fathers, and where are all those who should be calling them to their duty?
African_Canadians  dysfunction  family  silence  JCA  editorials  Toronto  fatherhood  killings  thug_code  family_breakdown  statistics  role_models  Jamaican  violence  say_"no"  Fifty-Cent  parenting 
november 2011 by jerryking
Family Value: When Cousins Cost You - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 26, 2011

Will Cousins Cost You?
Preparing for Potential Train Wrecks in an Extended Family

By KELLY GREENE
family  family_values  risk-management 
november 2011 by jerryking
Paying a Call on the Adams Family - WSJ.com
MARCH 1, 2002 | WSJ | By JOHN QUINCY ADAMS JR.

"America's First Dynasty: The Adamses, 1735-1918"
By Richard Brookhiser
Reviewed by John Quincy Adams Jr.

The greatest of all American political dynasties, however, is not a recent one. It is that of the Adamses, the subject of Richard Brookhiser's multigenerational study. (I should confess to being a member of this large and ever-expanding family.) Of course John Adams, the patriarch and second president of the U.S., has received a great deal of attention of late thanks to David McCullough's magnificent biography.
book_reviews  dynasties  Founding_Fathers  family  David_McCullough 
november 2011 by jerryking
'I Love My Parents': How Close Families Balance Intimacy and Independence - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 21, 2006 | WSJ | By JEFFREY ZASLOW

'I Love My Parents': How Close Families Balance Intimacy and Independence
Jeffrey_Zaslow  family  independence  intimacy  advice  parenting 
november 2011 by jerryking
Family breakdown is one cause of our economic woes - The Globe and Mail
Neil Reynolds | Columnist profile | E-mail
Globe and Mail Update
Published Monday, Oct. 03, 2011
economic_crisis  family  family_breakdown 
october 2011 by jerryking
Help From Family Has Its Costs - WSJ.com
JUNE 5, 2011

Help From Family Has Its Costs

By SARAH E. NEEDLEMAN
family  relationships  start_ups  JCK  Sarah_E._Needleman 
june 2011 by jerryking
"The Hidden River of Knowledge"
May 21, 2007 | New York Times | Commencement address by David Brooks.

In short, things are about to change big time. And one of my messages today is that you know that uncertainty you feel today? It never goes away. The question is, do you know how to make uncertainty your friend?....here's one other thing I've noticed that separates the really great people from the merely famous ones. They talk to dead people.

Merely famous people have pictures of themselves on the wall. Really great people have pictures of dead people on the wall, and on their desks. It's one of the first things I look for when I go into somebody's office...And they talk about these dead people....
The dead were alive to them, and looking over their shoulder....The Greeks used to say we suffer our way to wisdom...Success is not something that we do or that happens to us. Success is something that happens through us....We inherit, starting even before we are born, a great river of knowledge, a great flow from many ages and many sources. The information that comes from millions of years ago, we call brain chemistry. The information that comes from hundreds of thousands of years ago from our hunter and gatherer ancestors we call genes. The information that was handed down thousands of years ago we call religion. The information passed along hundreds of years ago we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago we call family. The information you absorbed over the past few years at Wake Forest we call education....We exist as creatures within this hidden river of knowledge the way a trout exists in a stream or a river. We are formed by the river. It is the medium in which we live and the guide about how to live.

The great people I've seen talking to the dead do so because they want to connect with the highest and most inspiring parts of the river. When people make mistakes, often it is not because they are evil. It's because they don't have an ideal to live up to.

These great people also talk to the dead because they want a voice from outside their selves....the best people I've met don't feel that smart or that special. They have powerful jobs, but they don't feel powerful. They don't feel like architects building these great projects from scratch. They feel instead like river boat captains negotiating the currents around them.

They want to step outside their egotism and understand the river of events. They want to feel how people in the past have negotiated its channels. They want other voices in their heads so they can possess the ultimate power, which is the power of facing unpleasant truths.

Finally, I think they talk to the dead because they want to widen their time horizons....Think hard about who you marry. It's the most important decision you will ever make. Devote yourself to your kids. Nothing else is guaranteed to make you happy. The only thing I'd add is, create a posse of dead people. Create an entourage of heroes. Put their pictures on your wall, and keep them in your mind.

They will remind you of your place in the hidden river of wisdom. They'll serve as models. They'll give you an honest perspective on how you're doing. They'll remind you that your blessings don't come from you but from those who came before you.
advice  affirmations  ancestry  blog  brain_chemistry  career  cognitive_skills  commencement  culture  cultural_transmission  David_Brooks  education  family  genes  Greek  hidden  happiness  heroes  humility  hunter-gatherers  ideas  inspiration  Managing_Your_Career  marriage  perspectives  role_models  sense_of_proportion  speeches  success  suffering  the_counsel_of_the_dead  time_horizons  transcendental  uncertainty  Wake_Forest  wide-framing  wisdom 
november 2009 by jerryking
Finding an Advocate - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 28, 2008 | Wall Street Journal | by MELINDA BECK.

"If we could make only one change in health care, it should be to change
the notion that families are visitors. Families are allies and partners
for safety and quality," says Beverly Johnson, president of the
nonprofit Institute for Family-Centered Care, which is leading a
movement to involve families more.
advocacy  health  healthcare  family 
may 2009 by jerryking
Searching for Roots - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 17, 2006 | Wall Street Journal | by DEBRA J. DICKERSON
reunions  African-Americans  family  Debra_J._Dickerson 
april 2009 by jerryking
Raising Bill Gates - WSJ.com
APRIL 25, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by ROBERT A. GUTH
Microsoft  billgates  family  profile  parenting  biographies 
april 2009 by jerryking
Family Charities Get Focused - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 11, 2008| Wall Street Journal | by SHELLY BANJO and
KRISTEN MCNAMARA

As wealthy rethink their giving in a weak economy, a growing number of
families are using mission statements to target causes most important to
them.
family  charities  mission_statements  Shelly_Banjo  weak_economy 
january 2009 by jerryking

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