Build Your Professional Peer Group
By Joining Our Mastermind Group

A Mastermind Group for Family Business Next Gens

Mastermind Groups have blossomed in recent years. These groups offer each member a trusted sounding board made up of a senior-level executive coach and peers. Often these groups also include one-to-one executive coaching to support even greater personal and professional success.


  • Grow your company faster and grow your career faster.
  • Learn how to address the issues which are most important for the growth and long-term success of your family business.
  • Focus on leadership development and family business transition.
  • Learn from a senior-level executive coach and experienced Next Gens.
  • Make better decisions.
  • Get to know other Next Gens and share your learnings.
  • Benefit from other successful Next Gens holding you accountable.

Sample Topics

  • How to work less “in your business” and spend more time working “on your business” -- to drive value and performance.
  • Learn ways to identify and exploit opportunities for innovation while respecting tradition.
  • Develop your entrepreneurship and leadership skills – and understand how these differ from management.
  • Create engaged and highly effective teams.
  • Effective communication for managing family conflict and generational transitions.
  • Develop family business governance as a foundation for family and business alignment and success.

The executive coaching group will be structured as follows:

  • Nine monthly in-person group sessions led by Jeffrey Smith and Donald Levitt, Ph.D.
    • Sessions held 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. every month.
    • Agenda:
      • Presentation/workshop on specific topic
      • Two participants each present a real-time issue; feedback and collective wisdom from the group
      • “Hot” issues
      • Follow-up on previous commitments
      • Action steps
      • Introduction/tour of host family business.
    • Session location rotates through family businesses of participants.
    • Maximum of ten Next Gen participants in each group.
  • Option A
    • Nine group sessions.
  • Option B
    • Nine group sessions.
    • Three one-hour individual coaching sessions via video conference with Mr. Smith and Dr. Levitt.
    • The Center for Creative Leadership’s Benchmarks 360 Assessment.
  • Option C
    • Nine group sessions.
    • Nine one-hour individual coaching sessions via video conference with Mr. Smith and Dr. Levitt.
    • The Center for Creative Leadership’s Benchmarks 360 Assessment.
    • The Center for Creative Leadership’s Compass — an online tool that helps managers identify personal areas that need strengthening and then instantly pursue effective strategies based on work experiences as well as confront possible career-stalling problems.
      • Smith and Dr. Levitt will facilitate an individual feedback and action planning session based on the results of the 360-degree assessment report, and will provide coaching regarding the selected coaching targets.
  • Our work with Don Levitt has resulted in a stronger family and business team. He helped our Executive Team and Board of Directors to gain a better understanding of our executives’ strengths and how each one can best contribute to the success of the business. Don has helped our entire management team function more effectively, particularly through the implementation of strategic and tactical meetings. Don has also facilitated a family meeting which included owners, spouses and teenage children that provided us all with a better understanding of the past, present and future of our third generation family business.

    Ed Brooks President, Huron Automatic Screw Co.
  • When I contacted Don Levitt, our family business had been in a rut for a couple of years. My two brothers and I had had a pretty good run, but we are all in different stages of our life now and were having difficulty coming up with any kind of plan to move forward. With Don’s help we were able to work through some difficult issues, and to formulate a very solid and strategic plan for the next stage of our company’s future. It is now up to us to execute the plan, and I feel confident it will get done. Don also assured us that if we need a “tune up” or additional assistance down the road, that he will always be available and eager to assist.

    Peter Boice President, Willis Machinery & Tools
  • As the founder, owner and CEO of a small consulting business I don’t have a board or formal advisors, so it’s really important that I can count on resources such as Family Business Nation and Jeff Smith to help guide my decision making and provide executive coaching to me as well as my team. Always positive and progressive, Family Business Nation has propelled me to succeed in creating a long-term thriving business, which hopefully may be something that future generations of my family can not only benefit from, but manage and own.

    Lisa Vallee-Smith Owner/CEO Airfoil Group
  • I would call Jeff Smith at Family Business Nation “The Executive Coach.” His frameworks, simplify the process so you can reach and exceed your potential. He has an extraordinary ability to motive and keep the client accountable to achieve their goals. He will help you develop and winning strategy not just for your business, but for your life as well. Best of all, Jeff will roll up his shelves in the face of life’s inevitable challenges. If you want to a TOP GUN Leader, let Jeff Smith Coach you.

    Keith P. Melvey VP Sales, GreenTec-USA (formerly with Pepsi and Oracle)
  • Donald Levitt consulted with us both as an Executive Coach and as a Family Consultant advising the family as we planned the transition to second generation stewardship. As an Executive Coach Don was incredibly helpful as he identified areas of weakness and then “coached” the executives toward improvement in those areas. His insight and guidance were delivered in a systematic and professional manner that was well received. As a Family Consultant Don worked with our entire family to understand and then implement the necessary structure and processes that allow families to be successful both as families and business owners. In the end we are more educated about family business, we’re more focused as a family unit, and the systems have been put into place that will allow us to remain that way.

    Steve Wurth President Wurtec, Inc.


We’re are passionate about helping family business professionals grow their business, bond their family and experience extraordinary success. We are consultants, coaches, authors and speakers to family businesses and family business enterprises.

Donald Levitt, Ph.D

Donald Levitt, Ph.D., President of Levitt Consulting, Inc. ( ), has been an executive coach and family business consultant for over 20 years. As an executive coach Dr. Levitt has consulted with major corporations such as Pfizer, Sprint, Bechtel and Deloitte, and currently consults with a nuclear energy technology company in Bellevue, WA founded by Bill Gates.

As a family business consultant, Dr. Levitt has consulted with both family businesses and families who have created a family enterprise after selling their business. He also serves as the co-host of a family business radio show on WJR radio, and is the Family Business Columnist for Crain’s Detroit Business. Dr. Levitt, a licensed psychologist, is a graduate of the Human Resource Executive Program at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and has been awarded the Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute. Prior to founding Levitt Consulting, Inc., Dr. Levitt served in management positions at Ford Motor Company and Owens Corning.

Jeffrey F.L. Smith, CMCT

Jeffrey F.L. Smith, holds advanced certifications in executive and personal development coaching. Mr. Smith has been involved with family businesses on all sides of his family his entire life. Mr. Smith was the owner of Woodworth Financial family wealth management before its successful sale. He has also written and was a national speaker on business continuity and succession planning for Exit Management Institute. Mr. Smith has extensive training and certifications from Jack Canfield Train The Trainer, John Maxwell Executive and Leadership Coaching, and Retirement Options Coaching. Mr. Smith was part of the inaugural class of Conversational Intelligence Coaching program created by Judith Glasser and WBECS Coaching. C-IQ uses a neuroscientific framework to leverage the full intelligence of senior executives so they can innovate, adapt and grow.

He is a graduate of the CBS Management School and held many executive positions at CBS, Inc. In publishing, Mr. Smith helped start Crain’s New York Business. He is past President of the American Automobile Centennial Commission (AACC). The AACC was sponsored by the Big 3 and the UAW Partnerships. He is very proud to have helped his wife Lisa Vallee-Smith to launch Airfoil Group in 1999. Airfoil has offices in New York, California, and Michigan. Jeff and Lisa, and their children, manage the Smith Family Foundation. Mr. Smith is co-hosts with Dr. Don Levitt, of Family Business Nation™, on WJR Radio, News, Talk and Sports, 760AM in Detroit, Michigan

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