Leading for Impact within Family Enterprise

A Personal Approach

Formerly named Leading Family Enterprises

As an aspiring leader within family enterprise, you’ll discover how to establish your credibility and authority in the business community, among family shareholders, with the board and management team. As an established leader, you’ll explore the complexities of mentoring the next generation and of managing succession and letting go. For all, the program can enable you to better manage the nuanced paradoxes that are characteristic of family business leadership.

This highly interactive program includes lectures with world-class experts on family enterprise, live case studies with leaders of prominent family enterprises and group discussions with peers facing leadership challenges similar to yours. With insights gained from a 360-degree assessment and personalized individual and group coaching, you’ll leave better able to meet the personal, familial and organizational challenges of your dynamic enterprise.

Groups are encouraged but NOT REQUIRED. No more than 5 participants per family enterprise are permitted to attend at one time. Requests for groups of more than five in a single session must be approved by the program’s Academic Director. Please direct your inquiry to the John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises at c-bath@kellogg.northwestern.edu.

Please note: the Academic Directors are currently updating this program to ensure an optimal participant experience. We recommend The Leader Within program to learn how to maximize your leadership impact.

With a completed application, you will be invited to join us for regularly scheduled virtual meet up sessions with Professor Brooke Vuckovic and members of the program coaching team. Professor Vuckovic will provide a preview of the materials that will be part of your program experience and you will have the opportunity to meet and get to know other family enterprise leaders who will participate with you when we meet in person at Kellogg. We encourage your early application so you can join in our pre-program conversations.

Kellogg Executive
Leadership Institute

Information Session

Learn more about Leading for Impact within Family Enterprise with this one-hour long information session.


Brooke Vuckovic / Academic Director

Who Should Attend

  • New or emerging leaders of an enterprising family
  • Established family and non-family leaders in roles such as: board chair, CEO or CEO candidate, family council chair, family foundation chair, family office head, family director or trustee

Download Past Participant Profile

Key Benefits

  • Articulate a detailed vision for the future of the family, the enterprise, and for your own leadership role
  • Learn to communicate your vision and imbue it with the significance and purpose needed to engage your family and your employees
  • Understand the fundamental importance of emotional intelligence for successfully leading in senior roles
  • Learn to manage the unique dilemmas that confront family enterprise leaders in ways that harness the strategic advantages of these organizations
  • Learn to manage generational transitions and to collaborate effectively with your senior, junior and generational peers
  • Discover how best to constructively influence the many stakeholders of a family enterprise
  • Discuss the special challenges and skills needed to earn trust and authority as a leader of a family enterprise
  • Master working effectively with the board of directors, shareholders, management and the family

Program Content

Understanding Leadership in Family Enterprises
  • Learn to understand leadership as a collaborative function that can be performed by a constellation of leaders occupying family, shareholder and management roles
  • Find out how leaders of a family enterprise can improve team leading and decision-making skills
  • Learn to build positive relationships with family members who are your seniors, peers and subordinates in the business
  • Explore how to lead generational transitions effectively and in ways that respect the needs of both the enterprise and the family

Leading Shareholders and the Board of Directors
  • Tap into shareholder needs and provide them with cohesive direction
  • Learn to lead an effective family company board

Understanding Your Personal Leadership Style and Vision
  • Through assessment and coaching, understand your leadership strengths to continue developing and areas of opportunity for work and reflection
  • Articulate your personal and professional dream and learn to translate it into a leadership story that your followers can understand
  • Learn to develop yourself as an authentic and effective leader
  • Explore how to connect your dream with the needs and aspirations of all stakeholders and weave a compelling vision for the family enterprise

Balancing Work and Family
  • Develop effective strategies to invigorate and sustain your leadership
  • Learn to establish meaningful priorities for your personal and professional life

Transitioning Back to the Family Enterprise
  • Develop a leadership action plan
  • Explore the viability of your plan with your peers and coach
  • Learn how best to translate the ideas from the program to the unique circumstances of your family enterprise
  • Continue the conversations with your coach after the program

Special Feature:

To extend and deepen the impact of your experience, the program includes a customized component that provides the support and expertise of a professional coach. Specifically designed to complement the curriculum, a coach will provide advice, support and additional resources to strengthen your leadership development through coaching sessions during the program and three post-program coaching audio or video calls.


Brooke Vuckovic - Academic Director; Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations

Harry M. Kraemer - Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations; Former Chairman & CEO, Baxter Intl.; Executive Partner, Madison Dearborn Partners

Bob Langewisch - Clinical Assistant Professor of Leadership

Ivan Lansberg - Adjunct Professor, John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises Executive Education Programs

Dan McAdams - Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology, School of Education and Social Policy

Nicholas A. Pearce - Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations

Jennifer Pendergast - John L. Ward Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise and Executive Director of the John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises

David Schonthal - Clinical Professor of Strategy; Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at Kellogg; Faculty Director of Zell Fellows Program; Director of the Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice

What Participants Say

“The program was outstanding. I am leaving here with much more than I came here with: knowledge, confidence, and clarity. It is what I need to focus on in order to help my family and our business realize our vision”."
Owner, Racetrac Petroleum, USA

“This is an excellent program for all current/future leaders in family businesses. The sessions are both reflective and educational and the networking potential is invaluable.”
President, WR Companies, USA

“Leading for Impact within Family Enterprise should be a requirement for any member of a family firm. It doesn’t matter what type of role you are in: shareholder, executive, or family member.”

Family Enterprise Suite

Address the unique challenges of running a family business

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208