Having a successful business should be a source of gratitude and pride but for so many families the family business becomes a source of family conflict and estrangement.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Gratitude is a choice. Gratitude is a mindset. Gratitude is the muscle that needs to be built and maintained just like any other muscle in your body.
Sure, most family businesses are ripe for family conflict and misunderstandings – that comes with the territory of a family business. The successful families work hard at teaching the family the fundamentals of family business best practices. A championship family business is like a championship ballclub it practices a lot and works on fundamentals and teamwork.
Here’s a few of the family business fundamentals that are critical to maintaining a healthy and harmonious family:
What’s best for the business won’t always be what’s best for every family member. The family needs to learn to respect the decision-making of the family business leaders.
As a straight commissioned salesman in 1985 when Uncle Walsh told me he was splitting my territory in half and adding a new salesperson, I was furious. That decision had a direct impact on my ability to make money. His rationale was that we had a hot product line and needed to maximize the opportunity.
His decision hurt but at the same time I could see the rationale of the business decision. I got over it and worked hard to make sure and outsell my new teammate!
Working in the family business is a choice. How you allow the family business to impact your family is a choice.
Too many people conveniently forget that working in the family business is a choice. Every business and every career has its challenges and trade-offs. Suddenly when things are stressful or uncomfortable in the family business we allow the stress to contaminate the family holidays.
It wasn’t uncommon at all for me to be frustrated with my family business but I always chose to be a professional and take a positive attitude and mindset over to the family holiday gatherings. I also made a point of being mindful of how my attitude about the family was going to impact my young children.
My kids were young at the time and should have had a chance to get to know their great uncle without me immaturely or unfairly vilifying him as a bad boss.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. Even if someone’s mistreating you that doesn’t make it right for you to mistreat them
I’ve seen a lot of different situations in family businesses. There are some scenarios in which people are being mistreated. If you feel like you’re being mistreated you should work hard to rectify the situation.
Family business coaching can help with business issues. Family counseling can help with family issues. Do whatever it takes to make the situation better. Do not lash out and resort to your own bad behavior as a result of the situation.
A family business should be a source of goodness that provides opportunities for a family. This holiday season be a leader and set a good example for your family. Even if things aren’t going great in the family business do everything you can to create a harmonious Thanksgiving dinner!
Here’s a short video I made about how to have a happy Thanksgiving dinner! Enjoy!