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Spend Your Kids’ Inheritance. No, Really!

UHNW global wealth is expected to reach $46.2 trillion US by 2020.

As many of these UHNW individuals reach their golden years there will be family conversations taking place that focus on the next generation and who will inherit what. Or will there be?

Rarely do we hear about or read articles that focus on wealth transfer conversations through the lens of the children. More often it’s the parent’s perspective; they make decisions for their children believing that they are setting them up for success. However, in many cases, the reading of the will is the first the kids hear of the parent’s plans.

Conversely, families that talk openly about money and have built a safe environment around the dinner table to discuss wealth, will have created a family dynamic within which succession planning is just one of many conversations.

Regardless the size of the family wealth, talking about dying, wills and inheritance within families is an emotional subject. Some family members cope well, others not so much. We all respond differently when under pressure, especially when emotions and close personal relationships are part of the scenario.

Families that have not made these topics part of normal family life will have a greater problem when estate planning becomes imminent. There will have been no discussion about preserving the inheritance. No consideration for the individual financial personalities of the inheritors. Families familiar with transferring generational wealth will have focused on training the next generation, listened to their whats and needs, and prepared each recipient based on their individual financial personality.

In the 2011 US Trust Research, their findings show that 84% of wealthy parents believed their children would benefit from meetings with financial advisors, but 59% had never even introduced their children to the advisors managing their assets. More than half had not fully disclosed their wealth to their children because they had not thought to do so.

By not communicating with their children:

  1. 60% of transitions failed due to a breakdown in communication and trust in the family unit
  2. 25% of failures in family wealth transfer were caused by inadequately prepared heirs
  3. 30% of family businesses survived to the 2nd generation and just 4% survived to the 3rd generation. Source: Independent Williams and Preisser Research

When discussing money and inheritance have not been part of normal family life, and heads of families believe they should be the main decision makers. The beneficiaries are left with no input. Many parents become overprotective of the family wealth, mainly because they read such statistics as the 70% failure rate when transferring family wealth from one generation to another, and the resulting loss of control of assets through mismanagement and poor investments.

The transition of wealth is very complex and in some cases, can reveal ugly behavior. Family members are all different, so are their attitudes about money. No longer are the kids isolated from what is happening in the world; they understand far more than parents often give them credit for. Healthy conversations about money and estate management ensure children won’t feel entitled to wealth, or become lazy and count only on inheritance.

When families speak freely about estate planning they can head off difficult situations, one being that the children don’t want the inheritance. Instead, they may:

  1. build a successful financial life for themselves and don’t need the family money.
  2. not want the family home as it would cost them a fortune to modernize it.
  3. not be interested in the family business as they are too busy running their own.
  4. be teaching values to their own children, requiring them to build wealth through their own hard work and diligent saving.

As lives become more mobile, some young people don’t want to be tied down to possessions that don’t fit in with a more disposable, digitized, transient lifestyle.

A good starting point is to uncover and understand each family member’s financial personality. DNA Behavior International offers a significant suite of tools to facilitate this discovery. Based on the outcomes, conversations are significantly more focused on the proper approach to address all involved about the transfer of wealth. These insights set the course for the formulation of the DNA Family Continuity Planning Vision. A process within which all opinions are valued in the family succession planning process and promote family harmony.

Beneficiaries have the right to know in advance what their financial future is likely to look like, as not everyone will be happy to receive an inheritance or be able to manage the responsibilities that come with it. Family dynamics, values, the amount of wealth to be distributed, and the maturity level and financial personality of heirs can vary dramatically from family to family. Better to know this up front so that plans can be made accordingly.

Rich dinner table conversations build sustainable relationships across generations, and it all begins with understanding one other’s financial personality.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

The Canon Curve – Episode 19: Hugh Massie

Keeping us ahead of the Curve today is an individual who takes a unique approach to the financial services industry-understanding human behavior, not just numbers. By applying behavioral psychology to his company’s business principles, Hugh Massie provides practical solutions for clients to become financially self-empowered and for leaders to become relational and successful.

Mr. Massie, CEO of DNA Behavior International, walks us through his intriguing professional narrative, rich with international experience and entrepreneurial pursuits. Tune in to hear his story and insights on how you can learn more about yourself in order to become a more effective leader.

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Meeting Before The Meeting

Picture this – you’re heading to a potentially great business opportunity, one that could significantly shift your organization to the next level.

You are well prepared, have all your ducks in a row and as you arrive at the meeting place, realize, you have no idea how best to communicate with the CEO you are about to meet.

You see – so far the pitch has been via emails, attached marketing material, answered questions back and forth all leading to today. BUT no thought of how to communicate in a Behaviorally Smart way.

All the preparation in the world won’t get the deal if you have no idea how best to communicate when you are in the room.

We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it. Made assumptions based on LinkedIn profiles; about me sections of websites; or Googled to find pen pictures, but the reality is – you don’t know me, and I don’t know you.

In her article The 5 Personality Traits That Make for a Better Life Science of Us Melissa Dahl makes this observation: people are complicated, perhaps more complicated than these (Big Five) five aspects of personality can adequately represent..

Yes, people are indeed complicated, but why couldn’t part of preparation for an event such as this include knowing in advance how individuals communicate; what their business approach style is, all of which would create a starting point to inform the meeting and with such powerful information build greater connection and trust.

The answer is simple DNA Natural Behavior Discovery puts you in the driving seat of your relationships, whether business or personal. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and can form the basis of every, and any connection. All it takes is emailing a link and asking the prospect, client, staff member to complete it. They complete a questionnaire, and a report is produced. But it doesn’t stop there – you can then compare your personality profile with the person you are about to engage with and produce a meeting report that will not only provide insight into how to communicate, but how best to present your offering.

This Behaviorally Smart approach is used in endless numbers of scenarios – to name just a few:

  • Financial advisor and client
  • Making a pitch to a VC
  • Hiring
  • Performance review
  • Building teams
  • Managing boardroom challenges
  • Selecting a mentor
  • Family succession planning and so much more.

With reliability factor of 91% and having been completed by millions of people – taking the DNA Behavior journey will not only set you up for success but set you apart from others regarding the professional way in which you approach business meetings.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

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Do Your Board Members Play Well With Others?

A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a corporation or organization. Source: Wikipedia According to surveys commissioned by the UK Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), the most common topics of Boardroom disputes are:

  • 40.3% Financial, structural or procedural workings of the organization
  • 38.4% Personal behavior and attitudes of directors
  • 37.2% Strategy development, including mergers and acquisitions

The impact of Boardroom disputes on the business:

  • 49.3% Wasting management time
  • 44.9% Distracting from core business
  • 43.8% Reducing trust among board members

Frequency and difficulty of complicating factors:

  • 52.5% Issues over competing factors on the board
  • 49.6% Issues regarding the emotions of those involved in the dispute
  • 49.2% Conflict of personal or family interests versus interest of the company

Skills training those Board members most frequently want:

  • 74.8% Ability to deal with different personalities
  • 73.0% Ability to give and receive constructive feedback
  • 70.1% Ability to have difficult conversations
  • 69.5% Communication skills

From my personal experience – let me add a few more thoughts:

  • Do you know the individual talents of the Board members
  • Have you ever talked about the skill set they could bring to decision making

Are they a board member just because they have a marketable name – and they make your organization more appealing? If any of these thoughts sound an alarm – then reader – you are not acting Behaviorally Smart. A dysfunctional Board holds up decision making, causes headaches for the organization, and slows progress. It’s time to get in and sort them out. Remember, most Boards have subcommittees, so first find the root of the dysfunction. Consider this, board members are already successful in their own right, so they bring with them a significant array of useful talents. But they also bring ego, bias, and unchecked behaviors. So if board members are not in sync with one another and their focus is not on the role they have been asked to fulfill – agendas will be confused, decision-making will be more difficult, and the organization will suffer. Any decision-making body must be structured; not only regarding the way they conduct business but also from the standpoint that all members understand and respect each other’s opinion. This structure is not achievable if the board lacks understanding of the personalities, communication styles, attitude towards finances and biases in play. The decision-making process will be stunted or fall apart altogether. Dysfunctional Boardroom blog 1 The most effective way to assemble a cohesive board of directors is to have everyone complete a behavioral assessment such as the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process. This platform provides deep behavioral insights to predict business risks and bridge gaps in communication. It is a Behaviorally Smart approach to ensuring that the business of the Board is managed competently and wisely so that the organization can function well and deliver outstanding results. By discovering board member personality insights it is possible to predict the group dynamic, their challenges and of course any go to behavior under pressure that might cause operational risk and poor decision making. You will see below the surface of the individual, and this will significantly impact how they work together. Boards of directors are expected to perform, as in a fiduciary relationship, as an extended arm of shareholders in overseeing and controlling management activities in a manner that promotes shareholder interest. But when board members do not work well together, this type of environment stifles productivity and prevents board members from sharing constructive opinions. A meeting may become a venue for personal attacks rather than for focusing on coming to business decisions or providing constructive discussion. Five Keys to Boardroom Success

  1. Know the board members

a. Identify their talents and determine where they fit in overseeing the organization b. Discover their personality and communication style; this will radically impact the way in which the board is chaired, how discussions take place and more importantly, identify any potential behaviors that, under pressure, could gravely impact the business of the board.

2. Appoint a board member whose personality is that of a facilitator and is given the boardroom authority to manage the discussions

3. Appoint a highly creative, out of the box, thinker who may well be able to suggest solutions worthy of discussion that resolve a matter.

4. Conduct a specific talent discovery process and openly reveal the talent and experience in the room.

a. This shows the extent of the board room think tank b. This delivers respect as board members defer to the colleague with the greatest experience in a particular area c.This takes trust from management to a whole new level when they see the board members respect each other for the skills they bring to the table.

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5. Using the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process, produce a boardroom team report that identifies the following:

a. Behavioral gaps needed to have a balanced viewpoint in the room

b. Strengths and limitations of the board members and how to use/manage them

i. What are the issues most likely to raise tensions?

ii. What are the bias and cultural challenges the group will face?

iii. What personality gaps persist?between key players such as the Chair and the CEO?

In conclusion: Jeffery A Sonnenfeld writing about good governance for the Harvard Business Review makes the following observation: For a board to truly fulfill its mission, it must monitor performance, advise the CEO, and provide connections with a broader world. ?It must become a robust team whose members know how to ferret out the truth, challenge one another, and even have a good fight now and then. https://hbr.org/what-makes-great-boards-great Only when you understand the personalities in the room can you determine whether the discussion is robust or chaotic.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

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When Talking Trump Is Not Productive

Whether you are talking to your financial advisor, doctor, therapist, friend, partner or in line at the supermarket, somewhere the conversation will turn to President Trump.

Coping with significant change is difficult for most people. Then add a sense of disappointment in outcomes, and people feel unsettled.

When organizations make changes, the conversation around the coffee machine focuses on “What’s going on?”, “Are our jobs safe?”, And so on. We’ve all experienced this in some form or other. It’s somewhat different when there is a change of country leadership, the questions tend to be broader, “What’s going to happen to my investments?”, “Are we being led by a safe pair of hands?”, and so much more.

For most people change is never comfortable. It is, even more, trying to cope with if the change feels traumatic. Understanding our response to change is the first step to managing it. Everyone responds differently. Regardless of whether the change is in relationships, work environment or the Whitehouse, fear of the unknown can trap and even isolate us. We’re usually scared of change because were afraid of the unknown.

Soumya Karlamangla writing for the LA Times records that therapists are having a hard time talking to their patients when presented with concerns about Trump. At the most recent board meeting of the L.A. County Psychological Assn., therapists also discussed how to talk about Trump, especially with patients whose political beliefs might differ from their own. It turned into an hour long discussion that Hillary Goldsher, a therapist on the board, described as emotional, challenging, and difficult.

Thomas Coyle writing for the Financial Advisor IQ says in his article titled Talking to Clients about Trump, “for many financial advisors, U.S. President Donald Trump is a necessary topic of conversation with clients. It’s not that all FAs are especially eager to share their opinions of the White Houses latest tenant. Rather, advisors tell us, Trump is difficult to avoid in the context of long-term financial planning. They say the scope of his proposals, from renegotiating trade deals – to pushing for renewed infrastructure and reducing taxes – stands to impact portfolios whether these initiatives succeed, fail, or fizzle out.”

The US Presidential election is now over, Donald Trump won. Some will be excited about the outcome, others will be apprehensive. Whether we like it or not, it is what it is, and the question now is how to roll with the conversations taking place around us?

We all handle change in different ways. If we knew in advance how we are likely to react, we would navigate them much more effectively.

Those that embrace change will be excited, perhaps because they saw something of themselves in Donald Trump. They want to speak up and be provocative. Trump champions that for them. They want to throw society up in the air in the hopes that when it lands it will look different, be more caring, be fairer, be open to taking risks to achieve a better life for everyone. Trump champions that for them. Others will be having conversations about opportunities, taking risks, and becoming a great country again; their conversations will be about being a part of something different and unpredictable.

And how exciting to have someone who’s controversial? Speaks their mind? And Tweets!

But many people will be alarmed, disappointed, and maybe even fearful of a personality that seems larger than life. Some will be significantly concerned to seek therapy to talk about their fears; they may rush to their financial advisors to offload stock. They will find Trump’s outspokenness unsettling; they will be alarmed at the proposed speed of change.

Donald Trump is not the first to be controversial and certainly won’t be the last. President Theodore Roosevelt (in office 1901-1909) said that his office gave him a “bully pulpit” a powerful platform that lets him draw attention to key issues.

People who seek therapy and panic about their investments?are facing personal challenges for sure. This post-election distress is not to be laughed at. But for a while, these like-minded disappointed voters will group together and feed each other’s distress. But eventually, as is the way with human nature, they will begin to see the good stuff that impacts their lives, and the pendulum will begin to swing to a more balanced position.

Here are some pointers to managing a conversation about President Trump either with clients or anyone else who raises the conversation.

  • President Trump can cause a change in behaviors.
  • He has the ability to persuade and convince others.
  • He will stimulate conversation based on his vision.
  • He will set ambitious goals based on the vision and carry others along on the journey.
  • He will look for the quickest route to deliver success, and this might bring resistance from those whose decision making is more contemplative.
  • He will be prepared to take risks to achieve goals quickly and will understand, sometimes this will mean losses.

Yes, he can be emotional and impulsive and make decisions too quickly to get into an opportunity. Yes, he may act too early not recognizing a temporary downturn or slowdown is part of the growth journey; but President Trump needs to get to the bottom line quickly. Too much reliance on detail and the small print will frustrate him. However, learning how to pay attention to detail will be valuable to ensuring his enthusiasm is reigned in and that his spontaneity does not lead him into making poor choices.

He has the ability to draw people together, and can quickly harness appropriate skills and talents to implement plans and ideas. President Trump is able to channel diverse skill sets into delivering successful outcomes. As a multi-tasker, he needs to be presented with a range of opportunities to hold his attention. He needs information flow to be in a summary format with the bottom line clearly demonstrated.

We are all different, that’s what makes the world so fascinating. Personality is such an interesting topic. The way we communicate with each other, the way we deal with challenges (such as post-election trauma); our ability to take a risk; how we communicate with each other; how we manage our behaviors, all make for better conversations.

The DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process offers deep, accurate, highly validated insight into why we react the way we do in given environments. It delivers understanding on how to manage behavior gaps. As the world’s only all-in-one cloud-based behavioral analytics platform it reveals how to know, engage and grow every individual using all dimensions of a person’s personality traits.

I love what Jon Ten Haagen of Ten Haagen Financial Group in Huntington, N.Y., says in this quote, “my biggest Trump-related message to clients is turn off CNN and the talking heads because there is no interpreting what they are blabbing about. The man has not been in office for 100 days yet, he has a total of 1,459 days to accomplish what he wants to – or not.” Given the Trump administrations newness and the fact he’s a catalyst for controversy and pushback, Ten Haagen says, “clients should look at the economy and interest rates and consider what companies are doing and saying.”

Above all, Ten Haagen, who manages more than $30 million and is mostly paid with a trail, tells clients to look at the big picture and be diversified, advice he says holds true no matter who’s in the White House.

People tend to figure out what to do to feel secure again, financially, physically or psychologically. Understanding why we react or respond in the way we do is important and worth finding out more about.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

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Trump Family Vs. National Politics

In Part 1 of this series, we established that as a couple the President and the First Lady have undoubtedly understood how to modify their natural behavior and communication style to lead the family, work together and carry the heavy responsibility of the Presidency for the next 4 or more years.

But what of the wider family, some of whom will be actively involved in working with the President and First Lady and continuing to run the Trump Empire? What of their aspirations? How has becoming a member of the First Family of the United States altered their approach to family, life, and business?

In Part 2 we will consider the family dynamics in relation to their building a sound working relationship together. This family is unique in that it needs to have a very stable EQ. Much of what they do is not only covered by legislation, in other words, it’s Dad who is the president, not them! They are separated in terms of state and their family business. How they relate and interact with one another, remembering that every family has its own unique dynamics, will be dependent on each knowing how to manage their emotional intelligence.

This First Family will be no different to many others; they will share bonds, have a history and like most families will have tensions, disconnects, but always follow the same old adage blood is thicker than water. Like any group of people the core dynamics, that is, values, biases, culture, education, experiences, will all be part of the family dynamic.

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Using their two strongest behavioral factors the following provides short insights into the individuals that form the Trump Family:

President Donald Trump (Influencer) He is spontaneous and moves/thinks at a fast pace. The President has a unique blend of confidence, initiative, and people skills. He will typically be able to see the larger vision and then use his superior communication skills to influence others towards accomplishing it. He will wholeheartedly invest time and effort into developing others and their personal performance towards goals, particularly strategies that he sees significant potential in.

First Lady Melania Trump (Facilitator) She is reserved and patient, much needed natural behaviors to be able to oversee the dynamics of this family and bring calmness to it. She will combine the ability to guide the family with feelings yet with the determination to reach goals and accomplish tasks. Melania’s blend of behavioral strengths makes her well suited for situations where setting the agenda and recognizing the needs of other people are required. Further, consistency, reliability, and persistence are important. She will flourish in an environment where there is plenty of stability, group decision-making is needed, and where she is recognized for the contribution, she will undoubtedly make.

Ivanka Trump (Reflective Thinker), is structured and plans well, she is analytical, thorough, and philosophical in her search for meaning, truth, and purpose in all she does. Ivanka is particularly adept at drawing incisive conclusions from data and research. Her accuracy and precision are valuable in any group setting, and she will bring objectivity to decision-making processes. Typically, she will prefer to follow guidelines in completing tasks and will expect co-operation to be given.

Donald Trump Jr (Influencer), like his father, he is spontaneous however, he takes measured risks. He has a unique blend of confidence, initiative, and people skills. Furthermore, his father will first see the larger vision, and then use his superior communication skills to influence others towards accomplishing it. Donald Jr. will instead wholeheartedly invest time and effort into developing others and their personal performance towards goals, particularly strategies that he sees significant potential in.

Eric Trump (Adapter), is somewhat unique in that she, like all adapters, has the unusual ability to be able to adapt to the needs of their environment, and displaying whatever behaviors are necessary for success. Eric is very versatile and will generally partner and team well with others. He can generally perform well many tasks relating to achieving his goals and managing his performance and operate most effectively when he has very clearly defined expectations and boundaries.

Tiffany Ariana Trump (Engager) She will enjoy meeting new people, new situations, and new environments and will be a promoter. Tiffany will use her people skills to build relationships and interact with an ever-widening circle of contacts. She enjoys using their verbal skills and will be very outgoing. Tiffany will approach situations enthusiastically, especially when she is passionate about the outcomes, and enjoy new opportunities, and starting (rather than finishing) new projects and goals.

A Summary of the Family’s Behavioral Strengths and Struggles. Knowing these will have definitely helped the family to be successful in business, and to manage the huge transition to being the First Family.

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As Family unit regardless of whether they are building the business or representing the Nation, their approach to finances is stable. They don’t squander money or make unwise business decisions that could bring the empire down. This approach is likely to be the approach the President takes as he oversees the US$.

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To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.