Connecting the Next Generation of Family Business Leaders

What is China doing? What’s going on in China that we need to know about? In just about every sector and every discipline, enquiring Americans (and really, the rest of the world) want to know about how the rise of China is changing the competitive dynamics. All eyes are on China. During a recent visit to China for a speaking engagement on philanthropy, I was struck by the eagerness with which the Chinese participants wanted to learn. They were hungry for resources, for ways to test and develop their ideas and plans, and people to share their ideas with. But they did not know who to turn to or where to go for this community. The personal connection, the community, was missing.

As with most things in life, it often helps to be surrounded by a community of trusted friends and colleagues that understands your particular needs and situation. Particularly for the next generation of families engaged in a family business and dealing with significant wealth, family expectations from parents or grandparents can easily become a burden that cannot be understood easily with just anyone. Beyond the expectations of family dynamics, wealth sustainability, leadership, and responsibility to family, business and society, are the essential questions of purpose, value, and passion. Getting these answers almost always comes by connecting with people who understand our situation.

There are several communities available to next gen wealth holders. A new international exchange and leadership program called iLEAD (Intergenerational Leadership Excellence Accelerated Development) is seeking to build this kind of community with an emphasis on family business and leadership, focusing on next generation members of American and Chinese legacy families and first generation wealth creators. The program is designed to train, inspire, and connect the future leaders in China and the U.S. together. iLEAD recognizes the importance of the U.S.-China relationship, and the program hopes to foster the opportunity to connect directly to powerful legacy family networks in the U.S. and China to generate a global business action network. Learn more about iLEAD through this Forbes Magazine video.

iLEAD is now accepting participants for Spring 2015 and Summer 2015 modules in Philadelphia, New York, and Beijing. The curriculum includes speakers that have started their own businesses, legacy family leaders, and next generation leaders as well. The program recognizes the economic and philanthropic future lies in the relationship of U.S. and China businesses, and people, to work together and know one another. By introducing next gen members to one another, iLEAD hopes to be able to foster relationships for now and far into the future.

There also other groups like Resource Generation, 21/64, and the Nexus Global Youth Summit that are building communities in the U.S. and globally for the next generation of wealth holders to consider their leadership, values and philanthropy. These are also outstanding communities, but do not have a specific focus on China.

Engaging in these niche communities can lead to trusting relationships with one another. The opportunity for building a strong network for globally minded, China-focused next generation leaders is now, and can lead to significant growth and opportunities as a global leader focused on the U.S. and China.

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