This is a crazy duality. When you are leading a family and the same family works in the business, life can get complicated. How do you handle it? How do I handle it? Well, let’s see if we can break it down.
Honestly, there is no right way to handle this situation. I do have some pointers for the way I handle it, but that doesn’t mean the way I handle it is the best way. All I can say is it is one way to make it work, though it seems I am have some success with this form of leadership.
One of the biggest things I will stress is if you are a father who is reading this and are trying to lead your family on a successful path remember you are a father first.
What does that mean?
A father is the person in a family setting that sets the tone for the family unit / team. (As you guys now we call our family a team, hence the name TeamBz) You should be, by default, the person everyone looks to when it comes to leadership and problem solving.
You may also be the person who is looked upon ad the disciplinarian, however don’t let this be the angle you come at all you do within the family structure. I would advocate for you to ease up on this roll a little once your children are old enough to work within a business structure and understand what that is. So it varies family to family.
What I am saying is you have a perceived position that your family views you in. This can make it hard for them to see their value when you switch to your business time.
How do you address this?
This can be remedied by a couple small shifts in your addressing up coming issues. I have come to find the CALM approach works very well.
- Communicate the root issue.
- Acknowledge the offending action or in-action.
- Look for other ways it could have been handled.
- Make necessary changes.
When you handle issues this way it helps the family to transition to a business mindset. The intent is to show you are using a reasonable thought process that is duplicatable by the whole team.
The good part is you are looked upon as being a leader of the family and that should transition well if you are the owner or head of the business.
Leading the Business
Here is where it gets fun!
Ok, it should be fun, good family fun to build the business with your family. As I stated before this has to be a different approach than that of a forceful parent that can get people to do what you want them to do based on the family structure.
When you are leading a business you have to do just that… LEAD!RICHBZ
Leading is by definition:
Show (someone or something) the way to a destination by going in front of or beside them.
It doesn’t say by force but it doesn’t say not to force either. Hope you choose not by force but by example of how to address things in a professional manner.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE show them the fun way. DON’T BE STUFFY!
Make deadlines, follow up, hold everyone accountable even yourself. Mostly yourself. You are the leader and again you set the tone.
When you are leading a family business there is a fine line to walk. You have to take input from everyone, get there buy-in, then make the final decision. It is a little different from the approach to make decisions in a family setting.
Remember you cannot treat the family decision making process as the family decision making process.
Separate (IN YOUR MIND) business from family.
This rule is I THINK what is mean by the saying business and family don’t mix. I believe it is a mental delineation you must make and unfortunately a lot of people cannot make this switch turn off.
If you are the type that cannot separate family and business then a family business may not be for you.RichBz
To make this work everyone must understand there is going to be a difference in the way you are going to work with them during business hours or when it is a business situation you are talking about vs when your a dealing with a family issue or addressing family as your family.
To sum this up, I believe all of this is communication and behavior skills that will need to be notably different if you are going to be successful being both a Father and a Business Owner.
If you have any pointers or things you think you have to be mindful of when you are both a father and a business owner let me know down in the comments as I would love to hear your take on this.
If you are currently wanting to start a business with your family I would love to answer any questions down in the comments you may have regarding how I have done this over the past 12 years I have been a family business owner.
I hope the above information helps you on your family business journey to meet the world with success.