An abbreviated family-business overview that might have benefited from more in-depth treatment.




In this short work, debut author Legler offers practical advice about transferring a family business to future generations.

The Canadian author was born into a family business and also married into one. As a result, he concentrates less on a standard building-a-business approach and more on the unique aspects of ownership, governance and continuance of such businesses. Although the acronym SHIFT is a bit contrived, it allows Legler to anchor the guide around five specific areas in successive chapters: “Start” looks at how to begin a conversation about the future of a business; “Help” considers different types of advisers; “Invest” generally addresses the time and money it takes to operate a business; “Flexible” suggests that no single approach is right for everyone; and “Talk” emphasizes the importance of open communication. Two additional chapters look at how to govern a business through a family council and how to establish an office to manage wealth. The information that the author provides does have value, but it’s sketchy at best and occasionally rambling and repetitive. Legler offers his observations and opinions but few references to other works and no case studies or examples; the book is a scant 58 pages, including resources. Still, the author’s counsel, clearly based on experience, could prove helpful, as when he observes that “[p]hilanthropy can play another great role in a family business: finding a cause that gives the senior generations something to do after retirement.” Also, some of these pearls of wisdom will surely resonate with its target audience: “Family businesses are inherently complex because families are all about love and business is all about profit. They do not always go well together.”

An abbreviated family-business overview that might have benefited from more in-depth treatment.

Pub Date: July 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1460249659

Page Count: 96

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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