Family Business Podcast

The Quest for Legitimacy

The Quest for Legitimacy

The Quest for Legitimacy

“What is it like to grow up in the Land of Giants?” That was the opening question to everyone we spoke with for The Quest for Legitimacy research project, the responses and stories we heard were fascinating and in this series of the show we share with you the findings from 5 years of research

What is the Quest for Legitimacy?

When I started this podcast I couldn’t have imagined the opportunities that it has created. Beyond the constant learning I am able to benefit from it also introduces me to some incredible people.

One such person is Dr Jamie Weiner. Jamie and I were introduced to each other via Judy Green, who Chairs the Family Firm Institute. Jamie was planning a research project that involved interviewing rising generation family members from around the globe. This was pre-pandemic and so the use of technology such as Zoom was still pretty limited, however I had been using it for podcasts and so this and my unique ability to press the record button meant I became part of the team.

Listen to a Preview of this series here: 

We then proceeded to interview 24 rising generation family members from all over the World, opening with the question above we were keen to explore the experience of growing up in a prominent family.

We heard a rich and varied range of stories How do you measure up to the accomplishments of those who have come before you?

In this series of the show we are going to be sharing with you the findings from the research. Jamie will describe how and why he started the research and what he has learned about himself during the process.

Keep an eye on this page as I will be adding each new episode here so that you can find them easily and there are links below to buy the book.




Episode 1 – Introduction to The Quest for Legitimacy

In the first episode of the series we meet Jamie and hear about the depth of his experience across all of society, from Cook County Jail to large family enterprises. He shares the experience of growing up as the son of a Rabbi and the impact it had on his own life.

We dive into the research and what motivated it along with an outline for the four phases of The Quest.

Listen to the Episode here: 


Episode 2 – The Four Phases of The Quest

In this episode we delve much deeper into The Quest for Legitimacy and explore the four phases.

In particular we look at examples from the research that highlight how the phases feel and are experienced.  We discuss the fact that the phases are not linear and that at any point in your life you can be taken back into an awareness phase that can lead to opportunities for growth.

Listen to the Episode here: 

The four phases of The Quest are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Tug of War
  3. Exploration
  4. Ownership



Episode 3 – Breaking Moments and Liminality

The research uncovered commonalities among the experiences of the people we spoke to irrespective of their background, their gender or where they grew up in the World.

One such commonality was the presence of what we refer to as ‘Breaking Moments’ in their lives. These are events that can seem insignificant or be very significant at the time, but that lead to a period of ‘Liminality’, or a feeling of being betwixt and between.

For one of our participants it was being fired by their father via an email whilst on holiday, for another it was a seemingly throw away comment from their grandfather, for another it was breaking their arm.

We each experience ‘Breaking Moments’ in our lives and what can come from them is fascinating.

Listen to the Episode here: 


Episode 4 – Who is The Quest for Legitimacy For?

When we started the research that has lead to us discovering the phases of The Quest for Legitimacy and the presence and importance of breaking moments, we didn’t envisage it leading to the publication of a book let alone, being published by Wiley.
The feedback we have received from those who we spoke with for the research, has been fantastic. We often heard that they wished this has existed when they were experiencing their breaking moments. It would have helped with alleviating some of the loneliness that was experienced at the time.

Jamie and I are driven and passionate about helping as many people as we can through this research and in this episode we discuss the practical ways in which the research can be applied to people’s lives.

Listen to the Episode here:

If you are a member of the rising generation and you are looking for support, you can find out more about how we can help here.

If you are a prominent family looking for one to one support, you can find out more about how we can help here.

If you work with Family Enterprises, Family Offices or Family Wealth and you would like to hear more about how we can support your business or your team, you can find out more here.


Bonus Episode – The Gift of Collaboration

In this special bonus episode we are joined by Maureen Kelley from Bank of Oklahoma Financial. Maureen is the Director of Family Office Services and is based in Denver where Jamie and spent our week.


We all attended the Purposeful Planning Institute (check them out, they are awesome) Rendezvous conference in Denver and after that spent some time together collaborating. This collaboration was a huge success for everyone involved and so we thought it would be good to share with you the power and gift that can come from true collaboration.


Listen to the Episode here: 

This episode highlights many things, including the need for professional advisers to think more ‘outside the box’ when it comes to the knowledge and training that they should be exposed to and the benefits for all in doing so. 

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Buy The Book

The Quest for Legitimacy: How Children of Prominent Families Discover Their Unique Place in the World is available to buy on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It will also be available in book stores. 

The Quest for Legitimacy

You can follow these links to order the book: 

Amazon USA 

Amazon UK 

Barnes and Noble 

If you would like to speak to us about a bulk order for your family, your clients or team members please email us:  

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