Today’s topic is: 5 Things that Can De–Rail a Family Business
Number one: Assumptions
Some families don’t have meetings to share information, because they assume that everyone else in the family knows what they’re thinking,
Even worse, they believe that everyone agrees with them
That’s usually wishful thinking and hides serious misunderstandings.
Number 2: Bad Timing
Family members from different generations have different views on timing.
Bad timing includes poor ALIGNMENT of timing,
different PRIORITIES around timing,
and just plain waiting too long to get started on things that are important.
Rising generation leaders need to step into their roles with A LONG RUNWAY, so they can learn while the elders are still there.
The elders often hang on too long, telling themselves that the “kids aren’t ready yet”.
Starting earlier is always better than later.
Number 3: An “Us-against-the–World” Attitude
Business families are notorious for keeping things very close to the vest and not trusting outsiders.
They wrongly believe that everyone else is “out to get them” and don’t trust anyone with a different last name.
This affects attracting and keeping good employees, and qualified advisors
Number 4: Jealousy and Superiority Complexes
With sibling relationships, jealousy is often present.
Lack of harmony in sibling groups can also come from someone with a “superiority complex”
When one sibling holds a leadership position in a business above their siblings, it can create difficulties,
but siblings leaders who are humble will face less issues with this, than ones who boast about their status to the others.
Finally number 5: Stagnation
Family businesses can become complacent, and not quick enough to innovate.
Not getting out in front of industry changes can become a problem.
Younger family members often know that things need to change, but aren’t able to convince
the current leaders early enough to make changes so they’ll remain profitable in the future.
But Wait, Where’s “Conflict”?
You may be surprised that “Conflict” didn’t make my list.
Conflict exists in every family business, but, by itself, it won’t de–rail things.
An unwillingness to work on it can be a huge risk.
And conflict that lays beneath the surface for years can certainly cause problems
But conflict itself can be healthy, so I suggest focusing on the other five areas.
Regular, open and honest communication is the best antidote to all of these.
That’s all for today, I hope you got something useful, see you next time