The proverb "Wealth Will Not Last In Three Generations" sheds light on a recurring pattern seen in family legacies where wealth accumulated by the first generation often dwindles by the third. This decline is frequently linked to the behaviors and attitudes of entitled family members.

Initially, the founder of a family business typically invests immense effort, takes risks, and makes significant sacrifices to establish prosperity. However, as subsequent generations inherit this wealth, they may grow accustomed to a particular lifestyle without fully grasping the dedication required to sustain it.

Entitled family members, lacking the same drive and entrepreneurial spirit as the founder, often prioritize personal leisure over the rigorous demands of managing the family enterprise. This preference for comfort can lead to complacency, a lack of innovation, and, ultimately, a decline in wealth and influence.

Furthermore, when entitlement pervades, it often instills a similar sense in subsequent generations, resulting in disputes over inheritance and fractured family unity. Without a shared commitment to preserving and expanding the family's wealth, the enterprise may falter, conforming to the adage of "loss of wealth in three generations." In this case, second generation. 

In our analysis, we examine a real-life case study where the actions of a CEO/son caused significant setbacks for a business established by his father. Upon intervention, we identified a series of detrimental behaviors exhibited by this successor, severely undermining the business's stability and growth. By sharing these findings, we aim to offer valuable lessons for other family-owned enterprises to learn from and avoid similar pitfalls.

The CEO/son's lack of focus, financial neglect, preference for leisure over duty, conflicts of interest, indecisiveness, lack of initiative, and poor leadership all contributed to a decline in the company's performance and competitiveness. These actions not only jeopardized the organization's success but also eroded trust among stakeholders and tarnished its integrity and credibility.

Let's delve into the specifics:

Inability to Focus: The son's lack of dedication was evident through irregular office attendance and a focus on personal ventures. Instead of fully committing to the company, he prioritized personal interests over professional responsibilities, disrupting business operations and hindering the organization's success.

Financial Neglect: Disregarding essential financial management practices, such as cash flow management and accounts receivable issues, exposed the company to economic uncertainties. Despite warnings, the CEO/son neglected these critical financial matters, increasing the business's vulnerability to unnecessary risks.

Preference for Leisure over Duty: Reports indicated the CEO/son's frequent absenteeism, often indulging in leisure activities. Despite his leadership role, he consistently favored personal leisure over professional obligations, damaging trust among stakeholders and compromising the organization's success.

Conflict of Interest: The CEO/son's tendency to prioritize personal interests over the company's welfare raised concerns about divided loyalties and compromised decision-making. This conduct exhibited unprofessionalism and posed ethical dilemmas, undermining the company's integrity and credibility.

Indecisiveness: Hesitation and indecision on crucial matters exacerbated operational inefficiencies and hindered the company's adaptability to market changes. The CEO/son's reluctance to make timely decisions fostered a culture of uncertainty within the organization, impeding progress and growth opportunities.

Lack of Initiative: Despite facing challenges, the CEO's son displayed a concerning lack of urgency in addressing declining performance. His passive approach to problem-solving exacerbated the company's situation, leaving it vulnerable to competitive threats and market pressures.

Poor Leadership: Tolerance of lax employee attendance policies and a lack of accountability reflected ineffective leadership within the organization. The CEO/son's failure to enforce discipline eroded morale and productivity, ultimately undermining the company's overall performance and competitiveness.

Through this examination, we emphasize the critical importance of cultivating a culture of accountability, transparency, and professionalism within family-owned enterprises. By holding family members to the same standards as non-family executives and promoting meritocracy, businesses can mitigate the risks associated with entitlement and pave the way for sustained success and longevity.


Become the leader your family business deserves! Join The W+B Family Governance Leadership Series to discover how to secure lasting family business success. Save the dates:

Day 1: May 18, 2024 (9:00 AM to 12:00 NN) via Zoom

Day 2: May 22, 2024 (9:00 AM to 12:00 NN) via Zoom

Day 3: May 29, 2024 (10:00 AM to 1:00 PM) On-site Session and Graduation (Location TBA)

Secure your spot with a 3-day pass for Php 9,800 or a day pass for Php 3,800. Contact Christine at for inquiries.