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Akram Sabbagh

The godfather – it’s not personal, sonny, it’s strictly business

Stream: Transform
Area: Coaching
Type: Workshop
Style: Discussion

Session on Thursday, Apr 25, 12:30
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‘It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business…’ When it comes to family run businesses it often gets personal as well as commercial. Even in large family run businesses the line between family, personal, operational, and control issues often gets blurred. The blurring has consequences that ripple through the dynamic relationships, crossing boundaries, genders as well as generations.

This workshop uses a real case study based on a large Australian based family business (Turnover above $100M pa) to provide a scenario for attendees to apply their thinking to different strategies and approaches they could use to coach a complex family dynamic. The dynamic is undermining important commercial decision making and causing cultural rifts within the business that is felt by over 100 employees in locations across the country. When founder of the business and father of the siblings (all who work in the business) decides to begin the succession process, he sets in motion a series of specific operational and strategic initiatives that cause friction and chaos in the family. The kids (all in their 50s) experience extremes of emotion and confusion, setting off long held resentments, and bringing up old family issues. The process of signing off on a shareholder agreement as a start to succession is derailed. The non-executive Chair calls me as a coach to ask if I can coach the family to agreement. This session explores various strategies used to coach the family through reflection and learning so that the relationship can be transformed and aligned.


Akram Sabbagh is an accomplished Business Coach and Mentor based in Perth, Western Australia. As a professional coach for over 18 years, he has worked with many large and small family businesses as well as partnerships and corporations, coaching on strategy and vision, leadership etc. His work takes him across the country as a keynote speaker at conferences as well as a coach and mentor for Boards and Leadership Teams.

Ak is the Founding President of the EMCC Asia Pacific Region (EMCC APR) and works with a board of passionate professionals in the industry across Asia and the Pacific to bring the ethos, rigors, and philosophy of the EMCC to the region.

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