March 8, 2012

An unusual request

After introducing himself the gentleman on the phone asked if I had a few minutes. I had.

He said, “I learned that my son has an appointment with you.” I vaguely remembered seeing his son’s name on the appointment list, so I said, “Could be, I am not sure.”

He continued: “I have no intention of selling our family business contrary to the expectations of my son. I would like you to convince him not to sell it.”

“I can think about this issue if I know why you request this from me.” I answered.

“The company was founded by my father. I have been working hard for years to leave a successful business to my son. However, he just wants to get rid of it.” His son was 35 years old. He was working in the company as general manager.

“I assume that you’ve talked about this subject with your son in detail.” I said trying to assess the situation.

“Not in detail,” he said. “He just told me that he’d talk with you. That’s all.”

“To determine how I should act, could I ask for your help?” I asked.

“Of course.” he answered. “What would you like me to do?”

“Could we meet to have lunch as two fathers?”


“You might want to know that I spent the last weekend with my son out of town,” the voice on the phone said, which was now well-known to me. “I was amazed to find out that we hadn’t talked about so many things through the years. I also realized that his idea about seeking a strategic partner for our company is not so absurd. We are thinking of contacting you soon concerning the sales of our business.”

“I am glad to learn that you understand each other better now.“ I said.  “Whenever…  We’ll be only pleased to meet with you.”

The oldie of the week: Cat Stevens – Father and Son (1970)

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