Leading Family Enterprises

Practical approaches to the complex challenges of leading the family company

As an aspiring family enterprise leader, 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 coaching, you’ll leave better able to meet the personal, familial and organizational challenges of your dynamic enterprise.

Kellogg Executive
Leadership Institute

Brooke Vuckovic / Academic Director

Who Should Attend

  • New or emerging leaders of an enterprising family
  • Established leaders in roles such as: board chair, CEO or CEO candidate, family council chair, family foundation chair, family office head, family director or trustee (whether from the family or not)

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 seniors, juniors 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, the shareholders, the 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
  • Learn to balance innovation with the traditions of the family enterprise so as to establish a tradition of change
  • Explore how to sustain an entrepreneurial edge in your family enterprise
  • Find out how leaders of a family enterprise can improve decision-making skills
  • Learn to manage other relatives 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 coherent direction
  • Learn to lead an effective family company board

Understanding Your Personal Leadership Style and Vision
  • Articulate your own dream and learn to translate it into a leadership story that your followers can follow
  • 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
  • Learn to translate your vision into a viable business strategy

Balancing Work and Family
  • Develop effective coping 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 your own leadership action plan for the next 100 days in the enterprise
  • Explore the viability of your plan with your peers
  • Learn how best to translate the ideas from the program to the unique circumstances of your family enterprise

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 Leadership

Michelle L. Buck - Clinical Professor of Leadership, Kellogg School of Management

Harry M. Kraemer - Clinical Professor of Strategy, Kellogg School of Management

Ivan Lansberg - Adjunct Professor, Center for Family Enterprises Executive Education Programs

Robert Wolcott - Adjunct Professor of Executive Education; Co-Founder and Executive Director, Kellogg Innovation Network

CPE Credits

Continuing Education Credit
This program is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and is recommended for 30.0 CPE credits.

Continuing Professional Education Information
The Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.

All Kellogg programs that qualify for CPE credits do not have pre-requisites. Advanced readings and case preparation is required. A packet of course materials is emailed to all participants before the program begins.

All Kellogg programs are group-live or internet-based. Program level: Advanced. For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaints and refunds, please contact our office at 847-467-7000.

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 Family Enterprises 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

2020 Session

May 3-7, 2020

Start: May 3 at 1:00 PM

End: May 7 at 1:00 PM

Evanston campus

This Approval Program is limited to individuals with specific business experience. All applications will be subject to review and approval from the program’s Academic Director.


Fee includes lodging and most meals

Kellogg School of Management

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