The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

‘Dear Younger Me’ with David Bentall

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ivey Lecturer and Serial Entrepreneur David Simpson, MBA ’88, sat down virtually with David Bentall to discuss his latest book, “Dear Younger Me,” where Bentall discusses important lessons for next generation leaders through his personal journey, as well as those gleaned from mentoring and supporting advisors, and prominent Canadian business families.

 

For over two decades, David Bentall worked for the family business, which included a seven year stint as President and CEO of Dominion Construction. Bentall co-founded the Business Families Centre at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, where he served as founding chair for five years.

 

Bentall is also a mentor, advisor and founder of Next Step Advisors. Prior to his latest offering, Bentall authored the award-winning book, “The Company You Keep: The Transforming Power of Male Friendship.”

David Simpson is an entrepreneur and Director of the Ivey Business Families Initiative and Faculty director of the Family Shift program. 

...you're listening to the Ivy Entrepreneur podcast by the Pierre L. Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Ivey Business School. In this, Siri's Ivy entrepreneur and faculty member, Dave Simpson will anchor the session. Hey, we just finished a great video of Brad Paisley there in his classic song. Write a letter to me and that's one of our subjects today with my dear friend, Mr David Benton. Welcome from Vancouver, David. Thank you, sir. E last video he was writing to himself when he was 17. My book is written to me when I was 30. You got you got a team, exactly what I'm spread. And so, uh, just welcome, everyone. I'm Dave Simpson from the Ivy Business School. This is our annual winter classic where we talked to enterprising and entrepreneurial families, and we try and share some positive vibes to get us through this today. As many of you know, it's Groundhog Day. And if you're a fan of the classic Bill Murray movie, you know that Groundhog Day he relives over and over and over and many of us in our co vid confinement feel a little bit that way. So we thought we'd you know, break the routine and have a lunch hour with some special dialogue. For those of you that are fans of Wired and Willie or Proxy Tony film making predictions about the weather spring is actually coming early, according to Wired and Willie this morning. So with David's optimism will make sure that we bring you some positive vibes going into the spring. David. Our audience here today is our ah, class of family shift. Members are alumni of family Shift, some of which you wrote about in your book. My students at Ivy and friends of the Ivy groups, people that are interested in learning about business family. So we brought them all here today, Thio here a bit about what your view is on helping next generations. I want to start, though you tell your family story at the beginning, and I noticed you put your family coat of arms and it says, aimed high, strive hard and you express that your upbringing was all about that working hard and going for it. So much so that I noticed most people write books that have seven traits of something. You found nine traits in your book that you are an overachiever. So start with what was the genesis of the book. Why did you decide? You want to do it at this point in your life? Well, thanks, David. So great to be here and for everybody. It's actually funny. You talk about me being an overachiever. Actually, the nine traits are the the nine areas that I know. Looking back, I really lacked in my life. I lacked empathy, curiosity, listening skills. So how did I come to that conclusion? Why did I want to write this now, Dave, To be honest, I was on an airplane flying home from a couple of family meetings who had some very meaningful family discussions to separate family meetings with two separate clients. And as I was reflecting on the meetings, I thought I'd prepared Well, I thought I did a pretty good job of facilitating. But frankly, the meetings hadn't gone very well. And I was wondering what had gone on and I was thinking about I thought, you know, in one meeting, one member of the next generation one successor seemed angry and that kind of poison the discussion of it, and then I noticed in one of the other meetings. There was one member of the family. Kind of seemed like they couldn't forget over hurt couldn't forgive somebody. And that had kind of set a tone for the meeting. I thought, I'm sure glad I wasn't like that was i e That was me when I was I was I was unforgiving. I was angry. And so I grabbed a scrap of paper and started doodling, and I noticed very quickly there were these nine things. I was I was impatient. I was arrogant. I was critical of others. I didn't listen. And I thought, Gosh, I wonder whether I could help if I wrote a letter to these younger six above. So, you know, I'm laughing because you're saying you thought perhaps you were, ah, perfect role model. And that's one of the things you start the book. With this you'll have our heroes, mentors, role models, including I know how much you thought of your father and grandfather in in the business context of what they handed to you. But just societally you have some champions that you looked up to and you said, you know, sometimes our heroes are sending us the wrong message for the situation we're in. So talk a little bit about how you learned a bit from mistakes of what the heroes that you looked up to you they so great. You're absolutely right. My dad and my and my grandfather were heroes because they were hard working men. They were men of integrity. They were men of vision, so I wanted to be like them. But as I grew up in my career, aspiring to lead, I started reading biographies and I read about...

Churchill. E mean he delivered the world from the Nazi threat. Eso who what better leader to be like and one of his mentors was never, never, never give up. And then I as a young boy, when I was 10 years of age, I watched the first Super Bowl. It's coming up on Sunday. I watched the first Super Bowl 55 years ago all by myself. My mom and dad just got a color TV back, and the pixels were the size of quarters, and his one of his mantras was Winning is not the most important thing. It's the only thing. So I brought these two ideas to my leadership quiver and I started trying to lead by never never giving up and always trying to win. And Dave, if you're going to war, probably a good thing. If you're playing football, probably a good thing. But in a family enterprise, to be a never never give up person and winning is the only thing person that's not very good. And those air two things that really those messages really undermine my ability to become a good leader. I think in our family, anyway. So over time, one of the traits that you identified and shared with us early is the concept of humility being humble. I've often talked with our high achieving family, businesses and family shift and, of course, our hyper outgoing H B s and MBA at the Ivey Business School, where I tell them, you know, the cars on the Humility Highway don't face a lot of traffic, right? There's not many of us that can be successful and humble at the same time. So talk about how humility and being humble is a lesson that took you a while to learn. But But it's a positive thing in the context of family enterprise. Yeah, well, David I think the first thing is I thought humility was the opposite of what I needed. I thought I needed to drive hard and hammer ahead and be driven. What I've come to discover is that humility, properly understood, is not thinking less of yourself. It's just thinking of yourself less and you know, we often get that mixed up right. It's not thinking that you're bad, not thinking less of yourself. It's just not thinking about yourself so much thinking about others more on, I think, you know, I wanted to lead. So it was all about me rather than you know. Now, as I seek to as an adviser to families, I seek to serve them and help them rather than have them follow me if you follow because the different And so you know, frankly, it took me get getting knocked on my my behind to realize that that trying to make it all about me is not a very good idea. I think that one of the most fascinating things I read recently was Benjamin Franklin's biography, and he talked about how he was working on his 12. He had 12. He had more weaknesses than he had 12. I only have nine. He had 12 weaknesses. And then one of his friends said, You looked at his list and said, Benjamin, you gotta add You gotta add humility because you are so arrogant, so proud You bug everybody all the time. And Benjamin Franklin, his friends, said, You always have to be right. And Dave he could have been describing me. I mean, just ask my wife. Early in our marriage, I had to be right about everything. And that was not good for my marriage either. And Benjamin Franklin blew my mind when he said the following words, he said, I decided to deny myself the privilege of ever disagreeing with anyone. Well, that requires a total talking about shift, total shift in thinking. And so I've been working with this idea, Dave, because if we deny ourselves the privilege of disagreeing with others, that makes us more curious and helps foster this humility thing. We'll do you see it differently than me. Why is that? So that's one of the big lessons for me, and it made a huge difference to me Trying toe. Cultivate that and your wife appreciates it. I know because she's writing off a lot, too. Curiosity. David was another thing you threw in there, and I'm wondering that in the family business context, when you grow up knowing and being steeped in your own family business, that might actually lead to a lack of curiosity. Because in many ways you thought your career and life path were planned out because you are the heir apparent to be the third generation. But you speak about how curiosity really helps you understand that you don't always know better. So talk a little bit about why being curious is important. Yeah, so I was afraid that someone would find out. I didn't know everything. And so I didn't want to ask any questions because if some I'm the son of the chair son of the chairman, son of the founder or grandson of the founder, like I can't let anybody know. I don't know anything. So I didn't ask anything if I ever spoke. It was to tell people what I knew, which is the exactly it's the exact opposite of curiosity and how do we learn? We learn by asking questions. And so, you know, I ran around our company telling people what I knew rather than trying to learn. And it's funny. You know, most professions, whether it be law or medicine or even in the trades. You know, the carpentry...

...or electrician's. Everyone goes through an apprenticeship period or residency or a period of time where you're learning. I wanted to jump right past that to lead, and I think curiosity is what we need in order to be a good apprentice. And I think family enterprise successors. If we can be curious, Dad, why do you do it this way? Mom, why has that always been done? That way, we might actually find that they're not as crazy as we thought. They actually might have a good reason for doing things differently. So that's been a really interesting journey for me. And you might even find your helpful to the senior generation because you ask questions that they you know, there's a lot similar between a rut and a groove, right? They just keep doing it this way. But if my child asked me an interesting question, maybe I'll look at it a different way. So it's it's helpful to the family in general. I gotta say I tell my students all the time that you're good lord or maker provided you with two ears and one mouth, which should give you a clue that perhaps you should listen twice as much as you speak. And yet we're trained to get out there and talk and present and pitch. And you have a great story in the book of a guy that I really admire. And you do to Jim Pattison, a very successful entrepreneur that really emphasize for you that listening is an incredibly important skills to talk to a little US a little bit about how listening is a valuable thing in Family Enterprises. Well, you talk about Jimmy Patterson. So I was invited to an event event. I shouldn't say. I was invited to a meeting and Jimmy was invited. It was There were There were 20 people in the room was four o'clock meeting in the afternoon, and I was the youngest guy. Frankly, my dad was invited. He couldn't go, so I was. I went in his place. So all these people were senior executives from the city of Vancouver, and we were trying to recruit someone to head up a fundraising campaign for the new Vancouver Library, and we were trying to figure out what kind of person do we need to lead this effort? And it was a bit of a high profile position, was also the person who would look meeting before it left. So we had to get this right the second time around. So the chairman of the meeting kept asking people what they thought, and somebody said, We need someone who is synonymous with downtown and someone who can appeal to the wealthy and donors and someone who could appeal to the everyday man, etcetera, etcetera. And I'm the youngest guy in the room I kept looking over. You know Jimmy Pattison, a billionaire well known to everybody, and he's sitting there silently. The meeting started at four, and at eight o'clock in the evening. Jimmy still hasn't said a word, and I'm going. This is This is not how I would expect this dog, but I figured, But, you know, he'd tell us what to do. And at 8 30 So 4.5 hours into the meeting, Jimmy said to the chairman, May I just make a comment and everybody in the room leaned forward to listen. What? When e. F. Hutton speaks, everyone listens. When Jimmy Pattison speaks, everybody listens. And he said, If I've been hearing things correctly, I think we're looking for somebody who's knowledgeable or whose name is synonymous with downtown. Who's got the time went through all the criteria we'd listed, and then he said, If that's what we're looking for, then I think Kip Woodward's the right guy and everybody went perfect. We got the check, paid for the bill and approached Woodward next day, and he and he did. The project did a fantastic job, and David marked me for every this happened in 1986. So it's had a huge impact on me that a guy like Jimmy, who's so brilliant, so well respected, would listen for 4.5 hours before he said it any. But then, of course, when he said something powerful, so I'm trying to be more like that. If so, he had respect for hearing the views of everyone in the room, and that makes his comment even more impactful. At the end of the day, yeah, yeah, Now, you you move to another thing called empathy and A. Soon as I saw some of your descriptions, I could see myself. Both you and I are hardwired to fix things right, whether that's being a dad or in business, that if there's a problem, let's go fix it. And not everything in life needs to be fixed. Sometimes empathy means something other than solving someone's problems. So talk to me about your frustrations with trying to fix things for people who didn't really want it to be fixed. Is this the time I talked to you about the stupidest thing I ever said? S. Oh, my wife and I were living in Toronto 1985 and we just had our third child and my wife, Allison E. Need to preface this by saying we're still married 42 years, 42 years later, but you're not gonna believe what I said. So were we just had our third child, and my wife was feeling not very fit and not feeling very good about her figure. And so she said to me, David, I'm feeling fat and ugly now. She was not asking me for a fix. She was asked me to fix the problem, but I went immediately into fix it mode. And I said, You'll continue to feel fat and ugly unless you get out and run.

That was not the right thing to say, and as you could, anybody's listening will know if you're married, Do not do as I do so But you know, what Alison wanted was my empathy. She was feeling lousy, and she wanted me to come alongside her. And instead I just told her what to do. And they may I be permitted to talk about a couple of years. Last year what I've learned in 30 years because, you know, last year last year we had our our daughter and her husband and their four Children. So six, 642 and brand new. So four kids under six living with us for two years and one day my wife, Allison, was feeling kind of overwhelmed, and she said, I'm feeling overwhelmed that I didn't jump to fix it mode. I'm very proud, I think is the only time in our marriage that may be done this right, Dave. But I went in and sat beside Alison on the bed and took her hand and said, I'm sorry you're feeling overwhelmed. Is there anything I can do? And, you know, it's a simple that, uh, maybe not simple, but it's it's just profound. Is that perhaps, David, This has been a hard one. I'm in the remedial class for empathy because it's been something taking me a long time to work on. Well, is it? It's a big subject, of course, in the United States that it's a capacity that they felt previous president didn't have. And under our circumstances, Joe Biden has it in spades. So no matter what political spectrum you're from, empathy in your, you know, Toolkit is something that we should all take away and think about so that don't jump to the solution. Seek to understand is what that message was in one of your Siri's there. And Dave, can I just talk about that in the family enterprise context? Because research says that members of the elder generation I think many of our listeners are successors Or perhaps the majority are. And what the research says is that the elder generation requires from the younger generation empathy more than any other thing. What so think about my dad, what my dad needed, mawr from me as a successor coming along than anything else was empathy. And the reason that my dad needed empathy was twofold. One is, if you build on enterprise and then you are later on devolving that authority to the next generation. That's a difficult trick because it's the exact opposite of everything. You've done your whole career trying to bring power and authority and responsibility to yourself to give that away. That's a completely new cars, clearly new skills. So the elder generation needs empathy because we're asking them to give up the there there, baby, what they've spent their whole life building. So that's that's what And then my dad, you know, he went through a difficult time in our family enterprise being shunted aside by my uncle. So he needed him. He needed someone who's willing to understand and care for what that was like for him. So the older generation needs our empathy. Gratitude is a family trade that you are, ah, big proponent of, and I think you describe in the book that you know you you grew up relatively affluent, but it's not something you really thought about because your parents were hardworking, frugal people. This is just the way we lived and you're not totally aware of of how much better you have it in my house. That's what we call the f word that the kids were never allowed to say. That's not fair, because it's not fair how good we have it, actually right. You talk about an experience where you took the kids down on ah, selfless project to a country that perhaps didn't have it as good as Canada does. And that really brought you guys together. So please share your your experience with your kids down building in Mexico. Thanks, Dave. So our son, we have three daughters and a son, and our son is our second l A. So I think he was maybe 15 at the time, 14 or 15. And I think I was pretty grumpy when I was 15 and my son John was no different. It was pretty grumpy and eso we went down Thio build a house in Mexico. We spent five days there in the hot sun building. I was wonderful experience, frankly, to go down. You know, Day one, there's a little concrete pad, and Day five there's a home for a family of five. And so we had the privilege of being part of this. And, you know, the girls were all rolled up our sleeves and swung a hammer and painting, and it was a great experience. And at the end of the week, we hopped in the van and we drove across the border, and the first thing we do stop that in and out Burger. And as we stopped it in and out Burger, we went in and got got hamburgers, and our son, John, got in the back of the van. We had 33 rows and the girls were in the middle seat, my wife on the on the front. John was in the back of that as far away from his dad as he could possibly be. And remember John saying, You know what's wrong with this family E right now right now? And hey said I said, What's wrong? I actually didn't want to know, but I said, What's wrong with this family? John? He said Dad was not enough gratitude. Thanks for the burger, Dave. I think that's the first...

...time I sent it. Ever thank me for anything and I think you know all it takes is five days in Mexico building a house for an impoverished family for our son to understand that hamburgers don't grow on trees. I think I need to do this more often. So I frankly, I've been back 10 times now and I'd like to try and go every year now. And we've started taking our grandkids. So one of our grandsons has been and so we hope we have eight grandkids. So I'm hoping all of our grandkids will go with Grandpa at the build a house and to help them learn what we have. Ain't fair. What? It's what we've got. It's not fair because we have so much. We have so much e, but I gotta share that in family shift. We had the pleasure of my friend Jeff Beatty, who worked with Thompson Family, Canada's wealthiest family, as their advisor. And some of the students were asking him about whether or not there's a challenge with the next generation, feeling they're keeping up with the older generation or whether they got the job because that's their name and the self esteem issue. And he sort of had the opinion that you know, there's so many advantages to being from a family enterprise that you kind of have toe get over it and use a phrase here. Successors can never earn what is a gift. So stop worrying about how do I earn this? So talk a little bit about how you came around to that conclusion, that the successors have to deal with the fact that you can't earn a gift if your parents are giving you something. Yeah, great day. How did I come to that conclusion? It was actually in a private conversation with a young woman who said, You know, I want to earn the opportunity to lead the business and I said, Well, that's different. You can earn the opportunity to lead the visits by working hard and being conscientious, where they're going to school, whether it be getting experience elsewhere. Be just working hard in your job so you can earn a promotion. And then she But, she said. But I also want to earn the shares, and I said that's not possible. If your parents give you the share, that's a gift. The proper answer is to say thank you, which comes back to this gratitude idea, right? And so I think sometimes we get mixed up that you know, I remember reading a couple years ago, Dr Keller, from New York said. New Yorkers tend to think they're the top of the heap of the evolutionary chain or whatever, and then you don't tend to think that some people's in New York. Some people in Canada think that we are self made men and women, and Tim Keller makes a very powerful observation, he said. If you were born in the 13 hundreds in Tibet, in a out in the middle of nowhere, and you grew up in a grass hut, you couldn't get in Ivy school degree because Ivy School didn't exist. So some of that we just need to accept the fact we were born out of place. And at a time that gives us Now. Gladwell talks about this in outliers that how we need to be thankful. Many of us think that we have earned what we've got then, frankly, we need to stop and recognize actually much of what we have our brains. If you have a good brain, you didn't create that. So David, there's more I thought about it. We can turn. We can't earn our place in the world, let alone a gift that make any sense. Yeah. Thank thanks for that. Gratitude goes hand in hand with the next one I want to talk about because that business schools we don't spend a lot of time talking about forgiveness. And at some point in your life, you have taken ownership of the fact that you were an instrumental part of the friction that happened in the transfer of your family business, where your Uncle Howard teamed up with your Uncle Bob to push out the notion that you would be the next leader of the business. And as frustrating as that was for the direct line within your family with your dad, it was his wishes that you'd be there later in life. You said I spent the time and commitment to go back and talk to my uncle hard and say, recognizing I was a bit of part of that and ask for forgiveness. That's an awkward thing we don't talk a lot about. But how did that feel for you? And you have to have a certain comfort level to be able to do that, you have to have earned your stripes and be happy where you are already or kind of young person actually learned that forgiveness is something that we could start right now. Well, it's really great just starting with the last part of that. You know how How do we get to the place to do that? I write in the book about a woman who, at age 14, her mom left their home and she went through graduation from high school, went through university, graduated from university. You know, for the next seven years she had no word from her mom from age 14, age 21 so obviously, she was missing her mom in lots of important circumstances. And she said that her mom picked up the phone when she turned 21 said, Hey, happy birthday like to get together with you. It's coming a whole lot of where have you been for the last seven years? And you know, it took her, ah, lot of walks on the beach to get to the place where she could do that. So it does require, I think to be able to...

...forgive requires us to look ourselves in the mirror and we need to think deeply because it's not easy, Thio, regardless, who it is. You know, if your mom disappears for seven years and comes back, how do you can't just say Oh, yeah. Okay, that's fine. Yeah, I'm I forgive you. So it took her a long walk and what helped her this young woman, Bethany, what helped her to get over herself and be able to forgive her mom was to realize that the pain she was inflicting on herself by being bitter was far worse than the pain she was inflicting on her mom. One of my friends says, bitterness of if we allowed to grow is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die like it does. It doesn't hurt that, you know, I could have been mad at my uncle for the rest of my life, and all that's going to do is hurt me. And so David was when I realized that I thought, Well, actually, this is actually may be good for our relationship, but it's actually good for me as well. So one of my friends said, David, forgiveness is actually a selfish thing. at one level because it's actually care. You're looking after yourself. So But frankly, you know, when I went to see my uncle, you know, it was after phony one of my friends, And I said to him, I think I'd like to fix things with my uncle. Can you go with me? And he said, No, you're not ready unless you're ready to go by yourself. So it took me a year to walk to get ready. So I think it does require a long walk on the beach and, you know, for me, I took time talking to my wife and my friends took time praying to be able to get to the place where I could let go. Actually took me another forgiveness circumstance, writing a letter, writing a letter, all the things I was unhappy about. This person then putting a match on them, putting in the fireplace and getting rid of all that venom. I have so takes work, takes work physically, getting rid of it. You're mentally prepared. Toe. Move on. We talk about it. Family business have all the same business problems that any other business structure does that you know, competition moving you talk about tradition versus innovation, but they also have the family layer on top, which is really complex, and you talk about pursuing something called critical thinking. And I'll share with you that we start our family shift program every year with my friend Tom. Bit off comes and talks about how the bit off brothers get together and remain entrepreneurial, even though they're doing different things. But they support each other by saying, This is the tradition of our family, these air, the goodwill's and good skills that we got. Let's not throw that away, But you go do what you like to do and you go do what you like to know. We'll support each other. So what does critical thinking mean to you when you help us think about how to push our family enterprise forward? Well, thank you so much. The critical thinking for me is right, lives right next door to a critical spirit. And it wasn't actually I didn't discover how important critical thinking waas until I realized how it had been damaged in my life. By moving towards critical spirit. Let me explain what I'm thinking so critical. Critical thinking is assessing what's going on and figure out what's wrong and what needs to be done. So my first mentor, actually as a leader, was Dr John Stott, who was the chaplain to the Queen of England years ago, and he was in Vancouver when I was 23 I said, What's the key to leadership? And he said, the key to leadership is a healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo, not being happy with the way things are. We need to go somewhere else. Follow me, Let's go there. And so I thought, OK, that's what I need to do. I need to figure out what's wrong and then we can figure out what we need to fix. Well, that makes that led me to becoming hypercritical. Here's what's wrong. Here's what we need to fix. Here's what's wrong. Here's what we need to fix. That's that developed in me, Dave. A critical spirit. I looked at everybody as wrong and I needed to correct them. Right beside that is is critical thinking, which is what is wrong or not optimal that we could make better. That's critical thinking, so I could give an example from, well, Disney Disney when he was. Most of the listeners have been to Disneyland. Must have been on the Pirates of the Caribbean. If you have, you'll notice you go into the Pirates of the Caribbean the beginning of the ride. You go through a New Orleans scene where there's some people sitting on the porch and things like that and Disney Just before they opened the critic, the parts of the Caribbean, he felt it wasn't quite right. So he brought a whole bunch of staff and said, There's something missing So he said, Does it look right? Does it smell right? Does it feel right? Does it sound right? And, uh, everybody thought it was fine checked out and then he said, But there's something missing. And then one of the young staff said, Mr Disney, I'm from the South He said. In New Orleans at night, there would be...

...lightning bugs, lightning bugs slithering around on the porch and this, he said. That's it. That's what missing. And so they actually they imported live lightning bugs at first and then later on, they imitated. But they actually imported live lightning bug, and they have that illustrates critical thinking for me because Disney was not saying who's done what wrong. He was saying What is missing? He was. He was asking questions. That's critical thinking. Whereas David David 2030 years ago would have said Who's left out? So you know what have you done wrong that was missing? So for me, that's the difference. And brand Ramsey. I quote her from, uh, in my book and, uh, for Britt Land and engagement she talks about in their company. They believe that we should be hard on ideas and soft on people, and that's what critical thinking is about. It's being hard on ideas, soft on people, whereas being having a critical spirit is being hard on people so that that's for me. That's really important distinction. It's easier to celebrate anybody that comes up with some good critical thinking instead of thinking about them as their age or rank. Say we're all in this toe, think together. But as you know, young people do not have patients, David, And when I'm dealing with family businesses, where next Gen say, Hey, when do I get to take over? And we often are doing this in our ivy classes on. We're looking at cases or videos where the next Gen is frustrated that they don't know when they're going to be the CEO. And I turned. And I ask, you know, my existing students. Well, you know that internship you had this summer at KPMG or Royal Bank? When did they tell you you'd be the CEO? And of course, they don't ever tell you that. But somehow, in family business, we assume that your job to tell me when this is all gonna be mine, David, When? When On the Lion King being held up, Everything the light touches is yours. So how do we develop patience? And what's the downside if we don't develop patients? Well, how do we how do we develop patients? Interesting. So when I was doing the research for my book, I actually go. Why don't I try to understand what the word patients means? And it was fascinating for me because I think most of us think of patients. It means waiting, but it actually doesn't it actually, the Latin root for patients comes from Patty P. A. T. I. And the root word patty means to suffer. So patients is about learning to suffer complete definition would be to suffer without complaint or without getting irritated on. I think that for me that that's that's the deal, right? And so I think, How do we do that? I think it has to do with expectations. I met a Met a guy number of years ago who who's in his. In his PhD research focused on human resource relationships, he took a PhD in human resource management. Frankly, I remember saying to him, So you did three years studying human relationships And, uh, I said, What's the key to relationships? He said, David, I could give it to you in one word. Then he said, It's expectations. He said, You know, if you say to your wife will be home at six o'clock, you come home 6. 30. You created the problem because of your expectation you created. And so I think the way we cultivate patients, Dave, is to change our expectations. I expected to become president of our family company within 10 years. Why was that? Because my dad told me he wanted me to be president. My uncle was 55. I figured he was gonna retired 65 so I had in my head. I'm gonna be president 10 years. That was my expectation. That's what undermine my patient. If my how do we cultivate patients by changing our expectations? If I could say, I will work hard and and I will wait until I'm invited to take on more opportunity. I'll work hard at what I've got, so I will earn my stripes and then wait till I'm asked so that that will change the expectations, which more like the Royal Bank experience or KPMG, right? You wait until you're given more authority, bloom where you're planted and then wait until your ass doesn't make any sense. It's expectation. Yeah, and we often talk about the monarch leaders, you know, using that model to say these are the people that are going to die at their desk. Eso note to Prince Charles. If you're frustrated with your life, the queen isn't going anywhere right until she dies. But then, at least it's his choice to decide what I'm going to do with my life. And so we want the next chance to say, Hey, carve out something that you're interested in, go for it and bring more value back to us. when you're ready so that the patient is a two way street. But you're saying manage expectations? Is the more critical element of that? Yeah. If I could just offer a footnote to men who I think were great examples of leaders who became CEO of their family enterprises, what they did. Well, they were waiting. So Harry Rosen, you're...

...his dad. Larry Rosen, son of Harry Rosen. Larry. What did he do? He didn't jump into the company. Said Dad, Get out of here. I want to lead. He went and took his undergrad degree, took his law degree, took his MBA, worked for a while. It's at a law school and then joined the family company and then patiently waited 15 years after that. So he was just into his mid forties before he became president, so he used that time productively on. Then the most bizarre example. His Fist Johnson. Most people know of Ziploc bags and Raid and Johnson wax. SC Johnson is the family company. Fisk Johnson had a father who was a strong leader. He thought, I've got to go work for dad because he'll never let me have authority to do anything so Fisk Johnson. Dave took six earned degrees when he while he was waiting, he went, took his masters in physics and his master's in business, his PhD in physics. He took six degrees, and then he joined the family company just prior to his 30th birthday and then waited another 10 or 15 years. So I actually think if you can't wait, these two men, you know, probably would have had trouble waiting 20 years inside the business. They took mawr education, both of them multiple degrees experience elsewhere. So I think, change our expectations and do something productive while you're waiting. That's my thought. So, folks, I'm going to ask David one more discussion point on one of his pillars that he's pointed out here. And then we'll let you throw in some questions if you want to hit your hands up participation feature so that I can see that you want to share something, but I want to finish off with David's last sort of subtitle Point was called Contempt Meant Now Contentment. When we're in the business school context is odd because we think of, you know, creating sharks that have to keep moving right. Sharks have to keep moving or they die. So if you're building a business, you have to grow or die. That's the kind of thing we teach and how doe I then start saying to people, Well, don't worry about you know what your class make up for their signing bonus or how much they're making in New York. Are you happy with what you're doing? What did contentment play? A role in your understanding about how to be a happier person. Not only happier person Dave, but also more successful life. Many of the listeners would have watched the the Toronto Raptors win the NBA championship a year or so ago, and Kwai Leonard was the superstar for the for the Raptors, who you know, who led them in many ways to that championship and if you. But if you nobody could say that he didn't work hard, nobody could say he was not fiercely competitive driven to win. But if you watched him closely as I did, he actually was masterfully content. What do I mean by that? He was content if he gave 100% that allowed him to stay on an even keel if he missed a shot or made a shot. If he made a shot, he didn't get overly excited. If he missed a shot, he didn't get overly discouraged. He stayed constant because he was content. If I give 100% I'll stay where I am. And I look first learned this from my water ski coach. Who? American guy from Florida. Chet, Really? And he went to the U. S. National Water Ski Championships. He was the second seed, so he was the second last to ski. And when he skied, he skied a lifetime personal best. And he said a new U. S record for his age group and then the guy after and went out and skied better on DSO, he said, David, you know E would be a fool to not be content with my result. It's when we compare with others that we foster discontentment. If we focus on doing our best, we could be content and any family enterprise successor, any family leader. What do we want from our employees? What we want for our kids, what we want for ourselves? If we give our best like Kawhi Leonard, we give our best like my coach that really, if we give our best, we should be content with the results afterwards. So for me, it's about doing our best breeds contentment. And the last thing I'll say about my performance. Coach, I'm a competitive water skiers. You know, my performance coach says preoccupation with our own performance undermines our performance. The more we think about how we're doing the poor we perform. If we're thinking I can't miss this pot, we will miss the putt. If we focus on the whole were more likely to put it in. So the focus is on doing our best and not being focusing on how we're doing. There's a couple thoughts on contentment. Um, even a Vancouver guys, the Toronto Raptors fan that's e like to hear that. Okay, folks, contribution is a big point at Ivy. So you know, everybody likes to get in on things, so I'll throw that out thio our family shift and our classmates here to say, If you want to raise your hand, I'll recognize you here and weaken. Pass along a question to David. So, terror, if you wanna let them do that, Katarina,...

...go ahead and throw a question to our friend David. I just first wanted to thank you to come coming and speaking to us today, So I feel like I've already learned so many lessons. Probably a question for most of us in our classes were going out and graduating. Is there any maybe one specific lesson or like a take away that you would suggest us to keep in the back of her mind as we're going to join family firms may be joining. One are from our own family or somebody else's family firm. Katarina may be permitted to. So, to those of you who know me well, know that the biggest regret I have in my life was that I worked for our family company right out of university, and I didn't spend very much time working outside of our family enterprise. I ended up after a couple of years with the business, going to Toronto, working for the Cadillac Fairview Corporation, which is the time where the largest real estate company in North America and Katarina, if I was to redo my life again professionally as someone who aspired to lead our family company, I would have stayed at the Cadillac favorite corporation until I was invited back. Some of you know, the DeMarais family and their own power corporation and our financial. Remember talking to Paul DeMarais 11 day and I said to me, What do you aspire for your Children? He's second generation. That's what you aspire for G three. And he said, We want our kids, Katarina, to go a Sfar away as they possibly can, and be so successful elsewhere that we begged them to come back. And so, Katarina, my my invitation to all of you is go. It's far away from your family cos you possibly can be. It's so successful elsewhere that they beg you to come back. So that's my first thought. And then the second thought is, uh, they've asked me about my mentors and I you know, I was following Churchill and Vince Lombardi. That wasn't very helpful. I would encourage you to choose your mentors wisely. So you know what? We talked about the theme of forgiveness. So Mandela is a hero for me because he was willing to forgive the people who put him in prison for 27 years so I would choose mentors who can help you to develop the qualities that will make you the kind of people that will be able to get along with those in your family. So those are the two thoughts. Choose your mentors wisely and work elsewhere as long as you can. Thanks, David. Go ahead, Harrison. Hi, David. Thanks for coming to talk to us. I had a question for someone who is not from, ah, entrepreneurial family or who's not going to a family business after graduation. But I was wondering if you had any takeaways from your experience in a family business that you think could help individuals who will be working in a non family business or more traditional corporation after. Thank you. Great. So thank you, Harrison. So, yeah, the first thing that comes to my mind is a young man who I'm entered for many years. He was a c p a. By training, and he was working in a very substantial company. All of you would recognize the name of this company public company, now, uh, national company in Canada. And he was getting very frustrated because he wasn't getting the opportunity to grow and advance the way he wanted. And he saw. And he said you know the problems are those those those dumb people up in senior management? They're not doing things right. If I could just get up there, I could fix things. Everything will be better. So he came to me for advice and I said, What do you What do you think I should do? And I said, Well, I had that same probably in our family business. I wanted to get to the top so I could fix things up there because e felt things were wrong up there. Harrison wherever. Wherever up there is. And I said to him, If you focus on doing a excellent job where you are, you will be invited to take on more responsibility. If you are mucking around trying to fix other people's jobs, you're not gonna do a good job of your own. Just gonna make yourself unpopular politically or otherwise. And so he doubled down on his current job, and it was only a matter of a few months before they said, Hey, you're doing a great job with what you're looking after. Can we add a few things to your list? And so they he gradually was able to take on more responsibility. So you know, it's It's a bit like a garden Harrison Bloom, where you are planted. And then I think you'll be given more responsibly. Do do with excellence what you've currently got. We have two sons in law through three of our daughters live in Vancouver are all three of our daughters in Vancouver. Two are married now, and there are two sons in law. I've told them same advice I would give you. Harrison. Do you want to get a raise? Do more than you get paid for. Eventually someone will notice and fix that. So those air to the bloom where you're planted and do more than we get paid for Adele. Hey, David, I had a question that I guess 50% Business and leadership advice. 50% relationship advice. You're telling your story about your conversation with your wife where you know, she didn't want you to necessarily solve her problems. She just wanted you to kind of be there to listen to her. I think that for most leaders, like in any sort...

...of position, that this is always just need toe. I feel like it is your responsibility to fix things, but then I guess that's not always the case. And how How do you sort of balance that between, you know, taking ownership and solving things versus recognizing when you need to kind of take a step back and just be there for people? Great. Well, you know the first thing that comes to mind, and I know his His name is perhaps been sullied quite a bit in recent years by association. But, you know, the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, was a very wrote a book on leadership, Powerful. And I, you know, I used to be a bit of fan of his. I'm not so not so sure anymore. But Rudy Giuliani talked about when he was mayor of New York. What he did was he spent his time not telling people what they needed to do but finding out what he could do to help them, which I thought was a brilliant leadership model and say, What can I do to help you with your problems today? And I think for me, that's a much better leadership model than than most because most of us, you know, I grew up thinking we need to figure out what's wrong, fix it and go in a new direction. But the people who are on the on the that's on the front line, so to speak. You usually know what needs to be done. And so for me, I found really Rudy Giuliani's advice toe. Ask others. How we can help them was a very practical bit of advice for leadership. And, of course, that comes to relationship advice. You know, when I said to my wife, Allison, what can I do to make things better? It's funny. I met a woman in California years ago who'd been married 25 years, and her marriage had ended on. I said, I don't want that result in our marriage and I took her out for lunch and I said, What's one thing you could tell me? She was quite a bit older than me, and I said, What's one thing you can tell me? Speak to me and my mom is gone. Now speak to me like a mother. What's one thing you'd tell me to do to help my relationship with my wife? And she said, every day, ask your wife. What do you need from me today. What's been fascinating about that is if I asked my wife, Alice, um, there's three possible answers. One, she'll say, There's nothing I need for me today, and that's a great answer, because then I don't a deal. I don't have to do anything, but at least get credit for having asked the question. Or so you might say, Here's this simple little thing. Can you just do this? So it's a simple little thing I could do easily so I can get credit for doing the simple little thing, or then there might be something really difficult. But if that's the important thing, they need to focus on doing the important thing. So a deal for me Relation Lee That's made a huge difference for me. Asking, What leadership principle? Relationship principle. What can I do to make things better? Thank you, Sarah. Go ahead. Hi, David. Thanks for coming. My question is more so around running a family business and you know, the challenges of mixing family with business. So I would assume that family politics escalate when there's a business in the middle. So I guess from your experience, how do you keep the two separate. Is it possible? And how so? How do you think so? Thanks. So I think it's important to recognize in a family enterprise. By definition, it's typically not possible to keep family and business separate. And so to actually try and make it to make a separation. Where there isn't where is impossible is actually a fool's game, and some people actually try and keep them separate, which actually is, I think, an unhelpful way of approaching it. Sarah. So, for example, when I say it's not possible, you know, my father was chairman of the board of our family company and I was an employee, but he was also my dad. I was also his son, so we can't say Okay, now pretend you're not his son no more. We couldn't do that right? E couldn't ask him to pretend you're not chairman of the board. So to try and to say let's keep them separate is actually a fool's errand. We can't keep them separate because because they overlap so that so what? I try and encourage families to do. Sarah is to think about how to wisely manage the overlap. I think the wisest way to manage the overlap is to recognize what hat you are wearing. So, for example, it's a wonderful article written many years ago called Unraveling Communication in a Family family enterprise. And give Dyer in his article, talks about how we have. We all have many different hats. So all of you on this call are presumably a son or a daughter. That's a role you have your also a student. That's a role you have when you get a job that will be another role. When you get married, that'll be another. Well, maybe become a parents. Well, have lots of roles. And Sarah, the key is to be clear what hat you are wearing. So when I'm having a conversation with my dad probably really important for me, Dad, may I speak to you as a dad? What would you advise me to do as your son may I speak to is chairman of the board. What would you recommend? I do is an employee. So I think the most important thing is to identify what had actually use that language like that helps a lot to clarify and keep the traffic from getting mixed up. Thank you. You...

Brandon. Go ahead. Hi, David. Thank you for coming to speak of us today, as I also from in Cuba as well. Like your family is very well respected here. I guess one of my questions is because you spoke a lot about getting content with your own effort and like practicing gratitude. Do you have any advice on how we can practice gratitude on a daily basis? Yeah, great, Brandon, Thank you. So my sister Helen, who's 15 years older than me, Brandon. It's public information because she's shared this publicly. She's 32 years into recovery, is an alcoholic, and so she's had to do a lot of work on herself, trying to wrestle with some of the demons that she had in her life, and she leads an organization. Some of the ladies on this call might be interested. My sister started something called the Avalon Recovery Society. There's three different storefronts where they help women to get into recovery from alcoholism. And my sister Helen, taught me about gratitude. And she said every morning she pours herself a cup of coffee and she has a little journal, and every morning she sits with a cup of coffee and writes out three things she's grateful for. And that, and what's interesting is that was a That was a beautiful idea from my sister. But then I read a book a number of years ago and again speaking to the ladies, You might be interested. There's a woman from Sasquatch in by the name of an boss. Camp v O S K M P. She wrote a book that was on the Oprah Winfrey Booklist five or 10 years ago. The book was called 1000 Gifts, and this woman and Boss camp was unhappy, often with her life. And one of her friends said, I think you're happy, unhappy a lot. Brandon. So her friends said, I dare you, I dare you to list 1000 things you're thankful for. And so an boss can't bought a little journal. And she started listing the things she's thankful for. And so I decided that I would take these two ideas that daily making a list and 1000 challenge a dare to list 1000 things, and I was telling one of my friends that it took me. I think I got took me to get 1000 and 94 before became a bit of a habit. But, you know, if we take time each day to list what we're grateful for, it changes us. And, uh, I have not arrived. I'm at 4681 this morning. But if we if we list what we're begins changing the way we look at life, Brandon. And so I have a quick, other one. Final one. I have a friend whose hobby is buying. Thank you. Cards. Probably. Most of you don't know what thank you cards look like, but they're actually available in in in stores. And this friend of mine whenever he travels, he used to be president of one of Galen Westerns subsidiaries and this friend of mine Everywhere he travels, he buys 10 thank you cards in a pack, and every 90 sits down beside is that. And he writes a thank you note to at least two or three people every night. Who helped me today that I want to be thankful for. So there's a couple of ways of cultivating Fantastic. David. One last one here. Duncan, please. Awesome. Next David Appreciate you coming in and found the conversation quite insightful, Uh, two very quick questions. So the first is around integrating family members into the family business who are not necessarily involved in the operations. And we talked about this in class, but I'd be interested in your perspective on that because I know speaking from experience, family business tends to dominate diner table discussion, and I think that sometimes people can feel left out on that front. And then the second question is, if not going the long route and going into a different business before you add to your family, business is an option. For you are the ways that you can achieve the same thing or at least get close through other activities. So those are my questions? Sure. Christie, David, I another over cheating. I the person that I say we have time for one more question and he asked to. So go ahead, see what you can do with that. So So on. On the second question, what I tried to do working in our family company was was actually not a bad idea. What I sought to do was to learn as much as I could about the different divisions. So we had companies in real estate, construction, electrical mechanical contracting, interior design, property management, leasing. So, Duncan, if you're gonna work in your family enterprise, I would look to try and get a much experience in as many different areas as possible. That's not that's number one. Number two Get geographic exposure. So we had offices in Calgary and Edmonton. Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, California So I worked in Toronto, Winnipeg, California, Vancouver. So get diversity of experience, geography and and enrolls. The other thing that I think is very helpful is Don't be too proud I for me, you know, big humility has been a theme here already. Start with doing the simple job. So back Thio Larry Rosen as an example. You know, he started as a salesman on the floor selling, and then he worked in inventory control. And then he worked in the buying group. So, Duncan, I...

...would suggest get diverse experience. Started the bottom. Your first question. Waas Just if people are directly involved in the family business, kind of how to integrate them or make them feel not left out, Sure how to integrate people if it's not directly involved. So there's two things one thing is that we all can learn as a family together. So I've heard of one of my mentors, the gas people beyond family. Philip and Andy, the gas people banned from Montreal. They say that families that learned together stay together. So one thing families you can. So they started. They have three kids who are all Harvard MBA, all three Harvard grads. They spent three years of family meetings, and all they worked on was learning to communicate. So we can. We can involve anybody, and everybody could benefit from being together and learning about communication skills regardless, with you in the middle. So that's one I've heard. Others say that families who play together stay together. And so, you know, I know a family from Vancouver every other year, eight kids Every other year, the patriarch of the family flew everybody to Hawaii. All expenses paid for a couple of weeks so they could play together for a week. The alternating years. They could be with their spouses, families. But every other week they play together, and you know, others say that families that pray together so, you know, focus on what unites you as a family So, Duncan, you don't have to be in a family business to play together or to pray together or to learn together. So I would encourage, find things you could do together. Okay, Couple summary things. David, I met you some 15 years ago, shortly after you were transitioning out of Dominion Construction. And I've got to say, every year that goes by your happier and I've got to think that has to do with your curiosity to meet people, toe work with people. The more you meet other enterprising families, the more you gain from. This is well. And I can see this in your energy, your quest to be the top water ski guy in the world. I see that one coming true very soon because you're peeking physically as we go along. But I'm so proud that you shared words like gratitude, curiosity, forgiveness, patients, things that we don't throw around a lot at a business school. So on behalf of our family shift alumni and our family shift program partners and the I V. Business school in the Ivy community, we want to thank you for the privilege of you sharing your thoughts with us and We wish you all the best. The book, ladies and gentlemen, is called dear Younger me. Hold it up there. You can contact me. I can get you directly lined up with David and his advisory firm and will make sure, David, that we spread the gospel of humility, empathy, curiosity, listening, gratitude, forgiveness, critical thinking, patients and, above all else, contentment. Thanks so much, my friend David Bento David, Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure. And if anybody is interested in the book, if you order it through my website, I'll sign it personally for you. Just let me know because we got coffees here in my home. So I'll be delighted. It's really fun this morning. Thanks for the great questions. David, Thank you so much for inviting me. You've been listening to the Ivy Entrepreneur podcast toe. Ensure that you never miss an episode. Subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit ivy dot c a forward slash entrepreneurship. Thank you so much for listening until next time. Thank you.

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