Okay, maybe it’s not as bad as the photo depicts but family-owned businesses can cause some major blowouts. Roles learned and cemented several years, or even decades, ago as children can derail the success of a business and even put it into jeopardy. I know. My now ex-husband and I ran a $2+million business. It had the potential to be much larger but we worked against each other. There were screaming matches and sabotage that also exacted a toll on each of our emotional states. They carried over to our personal lives and to the emotional well-being of our son.
We know that all sorts of companies can have issues that prevent optimal growth and profitability. But family-owned businesses can exaggerate the problems and add ones of their own. This is especially true when siblings take over from the founder and potentially even worse when the grandchildren take over. There is a saying about family-owned businesses in Mexico: “Father, founder of the company, son rich, and grandson poor” (Padre noble, hijo rico, nieto pobre). What the saying really means is the founder works and builds a business, the son takes it over, poorly prepared to manage and make it grow but enjoying the wealth. By the time the grandson inherits the business it is dead-on-arrival with an empty bank account to boot.
For anyone in a family-owned business, the challenges listed below will ring true. This is where a coach can help you step back, gain a perspective, understand the roles you may have brought in from childhood and learn a new way of interacting. The net result is a healthier business, one that is enjoying growth and improving profitability for all concerned.
This is just a small sampling of issues but are some of the worst offenders that wreak havoc on a company’s success.
1. Emotions run amok. Hyper-critical mother or father, sibling rivalries, birth order, divorces, you name it, it affects the health of the business..
2. Just give me the money. An attitude of “the company owes me” even when it may be in decline.
3. Who is the boss? A biggie, for sure, as everyone thinks they are the boss.
4. No talent or expertise. Who’s kidding, who. These are all biggies.
5. Waiting for mom or dad to die. We know someone is thinking about it even if they don’t say it out loud.
6. “Do as I say not what I do.” How many times did you hear that as a child? And it maddeningly continues as an adult.
If you think your family business could use some help to resolve these issues, please go to www.christinecaldwellcoaching.com. or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.
Christine Caldwell Coaching
Christine Caldwell is a certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming coach, and has completed both the Robbins-Madanes Core 100 and Core 200 coaching programs. Additionally, Christine has 30 years’ experience as a sales and marketing executive, business owner and career counselor. For more information go to: www.christinecaldwellcoaching.com.