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Solutions to family business issues from an African perspective – A review of Nike Anani’s Lifetime to Legacy

Title: Lifetime to Legacy: A New Vision for Multigenerational Family Businesses
Author: Nike Anani
Publisher: Hambone Publishing
Year of Publication: 2022
Number of Pages: 235
Category: Business

There aren’t many books written about family businesses, and even fewer written from an African perspective. Too many illustrious families put off planning for their next generation until it is too late to preserve the values that made them famous. ‘Lifetime to legacy,’ written by family business specialist Nike Anani, provides readers with a thorough understanding of the difficulties faced by family-owned firms and methods for overcoming them.

To achieve this, Anani draws on experiences both personal and professional, including her role as a consultant for a substantial number of businesses with strong family ties. As far as I can tell, the author has thought of every issue that could arise in a family business and dealt with it all here.

Nike Anani suggests in the introduction that readers take advantage of the book as a resource, enjoy it for its entertainment value, or give the exercises a try. You can do any of the three, if you like.

This book sheds light on issues that, while seeming evident to the reader, are often disregarded by family business owners or, alternatively, are simply avoided by the original business founders.

The tone and atmosphere of the book are quite similar to that of having a family business consultant at your side during a family meeting, ready to help you gain clarity and handle the family dynamics that may regularly get in the way of your efforts to do so.

If you’re more of a visual learner than a text reader, don’t worry; there are useful diagrams sprinkled throughout the text.

If you were not born into a successful family business, you may find yourself wishing you had been, but you may be startled to learn about the concerns that plague children who are thrust into leadership roles before they are ready.

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It may also come as a surprise to find that many business owners avoid discussing succession and transition. In theory, this book could be useful to both the present leader and their eventual successor.

There are portions of the book when the subject is hard to follow, but the author keeps your interest by interspersing real-life happenings throughout each chapter. Specifically, those centered around African family enterprises.

Nike Anani’s prose is engaging and easy to read despite its intricacy. The goals she set out to achieve—informing and motivating others—were met with great success.

Insightful discussion of tough issues, such as how to pass a business along through generations, can be facilitated by using the book as a guide. This is the sort of book you’ll want to read cover to cover, then keep on hand for reference, pass on to the next generation, or buy in bulk so that everyone in your family has their own copy.

If you want to learn more about or adopt ideas for successful family companies, this book by Anani is a fantastic place to begin. This book is not just essential reading for anyone who is serious about learning about and managing their own family business, but it is also a must-have for everyone working in a family business, regardless of whether they are connected to the owners or not.

About the reviewer
Titilade Oyemade is a business executive in a leading organisation and holds a degree in Russian Language. She’s the convener of the Hangoutwithtee Ladies Event and the publisher of Hangoutwithtee magazine. She spends her weekends attending women conferences, events and book readings. She loves to have fun and to help other women have the same in their lives. Email: titi.oyemade@gmail.com Social: @tiipreeofficial