Virginia Bianco-Mathis
University professor, author

Virginia Bianco-Mathis

Business department chair of management programs at Marymount University and author of two books on executive coaching.

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Family ties

Q: Rep. Patrick Kennedy says he won't run for re-election, raising the possibility that his family's political dynasty has come to an end. To what degree do family connections and famous names fuel success? By giving up his political power and status as keeper of the Kennedy legacy, is Patrick Kennedy letting down his family and followers?

Definitely, family connections and famous names fuel success. The Kennedy dynasty has certainly been deep, fruitful, and entertaining.

Yet, like all great (and not so great) dynasties, it has run its course. Patrick is not letting down his family or followers. The political train has run out of steam and Patrick's own physical and mental health requires a different path. And so, the Kennedy gauntlet has been lain down to rest.

In all walks of life, there are family dynasties -- real estate, oil, department stores, medicine, acting, clothing lines, etc. When enough talent and energy emerges in the next generation, the baton is passed and future generations ride the wave--a built-in infrastructure of support and connections.

Over time, the line tends to peter out for a variety of reasons: Talent wanes, economies falter, requirements change, the infrastructure cracks, and desires shift. But boy, if you are a born within such a dynasty and have the right stuff, there is no faster or stronger road to success.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis  |  February 18, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  | Category:  Sustaining success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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