There's a famous American saying: The first generation makes it, the second generation spends it, and the third generation blows it. Often true.
Earlier tonight I was pondering why this might be the case and developed a theory perhaps worth sharing: In reference to my earlier post, I think it may have something to do with increased abstraction, growing distance from the concerns being managed, the shadow-on-the-wall phenomenon.
The first generation, the founder and his kin, starts with next to nothing and builds something enormous, experiencing and learning along the way.
The second generation - the founder's progeny - is raised with some awareness of the family business, brought to work, taught the basics first hand from someone who knows how it's done. Perhaps they acquire, at least partially, the work ethic that lead to the creation of the business in the first place. Never the less, they live their adult lives in luxury.
But the third generation, knowing only luxury and indolence from birth, has no interest in how the family business actually works and is content to merely reap the rewards, thereby squandering the fortune painstakingly accumulated by the previous two generations.
Anyway, just a thought.