Family businesses are the most complex form of business organization. The linkage of often emotionally driven family ownership with rational business needs creates a fertile ground for conflicts on multiple levels. Particularly at times of generational shifts, uncertainties about the interest and the leadership competence of next generation family members make the business vulnerable. How have the best multi-generational and successful family businesses handled these difficult challenges again and again over generations? Are there lessons to be learned for all family businesses? This book is based on a nine year research study of a unique group of family businesses throughout the world. They are award- winning family businesses ranging from the third to the seventh generation who have successfully mastered the complexities and contradictions each family business faces. They have achieved this through an in-depth understanding of the real needs of family, ownership, business and the individual, and by searching for a strategy that most effectively addresses these needs both sequentially and simultaneously. This book provides new, practical and relevant guidelines for all family businesses.