Family Champions: An interview with Joshua Nacht by Steve Legler

Steve Legler (SL): Hello and welcome to the FFI Practitioner, an online publication of the Family Firm Institute. I’m Steve Legler and today I’m joined by Joshua Nacht, a consultant with the Family Business Consulting Group and the author of Family Champions and Champion Families. Welcome Josh. So the first thing I want I’d like to do is ask you to give us a quick background on the whole idea of the family champion and where did this idea came from?

Joshua Nacht (JN): I was working as a doctoral student. I was working with Dennis Jaffe, longtime FFI member, and he was working on his Good Fortune: Building a Hundred Year Family Enterprise research project. He was interviewing long standing 100-year-old families. And he asked me to help him with the interviews. In doing those interviews I realized that I ended up talking to the same type of person pretty frequently doing these interviews. They were typically chair of the family council and typically a third or fourth generation, and they played a really unique role in their family because they were not working in the business. But they were very involved in governance at the family council level and really leading their family. And as I talked to multiple people who played a similar type of role, I started to get interested in who this person was, what they did in their family, how they got there, and I really started to hone in on people who, for many purposes lead their family, to help the business.