A Vibrant Family Business Vision with Richard N. Seaman, 2nd Generation Chairman
In This Episode:
Another business model: “..stewarding the culture and heritage of the family business in addition to remaining focused on financial results.” -Richard Seaman in “A Vibrant Vision”
This week’s episode is Part Three in the three part series with Richard N. Seaman, 2nd Gen Chairman of Seaman Corporation.
In the first podcast episode, we learned about the Seaman Corporation’s family business story. The second episode was a BONUS on family philanthropy, and today, we dive into Richard’s latest book, A Vibrant Vision: The Entrepreneurship of Multigenerational Family Business.
“Addressing your personal, physical, and mental health is one of the greatest gifts you give not only yourself, but to the people who depend on you.” Richard N. Seaman
Richard has many lessons learned and wisdom he shares in his new book, A Vibrant Vision. He has lived it all and shares what works and what doesn’t.
If you are running, or planning to run, a multigenerational family business, this is the episode (and book!) to check out.
We discuss 4 of the book’s 7 Lessons Learned, including the importance of innovation, human and resource management, and strategic and business planning. We end with why “Nourishing Your Spirit” is the best chapter in the book.
Here are the questions I asked Richard:
You recently wrote a book called The Vibrant Vision: The Entrepreneurship of Multigenerational Family Business. Why did you write this book, why now? Who is this for?
What is this model and Why is this model better?
What did you learn about family business by studying international firms? (treasures, story of Cleopatra, cultural value, and what this means)
In your book you highlight 8 lessons learned from growing the family business from $10m to $200m with 400 associates. They are:
- innovate/formulize your secret sauce,
- invest in human capital,
- have a strategic plan,
- customer focused quality,
- constant reinvestment,
- have an outside board of directors (counter entitlement),
- shareholder education and engagement (what are you doing for your family in this area?), and
- nourish your spirit (what does this mean?).
Did I get those right? Can you pick one and share more about this lesson learned?
What are your favorite family business resources?
Richard Seaman is the author of A Vibrant Vision: The Entrepreneurship of Multigenerational Family Business, and the current Chairman of Seaman Corporation, where he served as CEO from 1976 to 2015. He assumed the leadership role of this family business in 1978 after his father passed away at the young age of 55. Under his leadership, Seaman Corporation, a manufacturer of industrial coated fabrics, grew from $10 million in annual sales to nearly $200 million in sales today.
Richard serves as a Trustee of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, whose mission is to support entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system. In 2012, he was asked by the Governor of the State of Ohio to serve as a Commissioner of the Ohio Third Frontier, a billion-dollar initiative focused on creating an innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state. He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization, the Family Business Network-USA, and a Trustee on the board of the College of Wooster.
Richard was recognized as an Honored Life Member of his industry trade organization, the Industrial Fabrics Association International, and was selected as a Wall of Fame Honoree by the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2015, Richard was chosen by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year in the Family Business category.
Richard is an avid skier, sailor, photographer, and tennis player. Richard and his wife, Judy, live in Wooster, Ohio. They and the families of their three children are committed to being active owners and stewards of their family business enterprise.
How to find Richard:
Resources From This Episode:
A Vibrant Vision: The Entrepreneurship of Multigenerational Family Business
The Family Business Network International
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