Successful businesses need driven, results oriented leaders. Those same leaders also need to learn how and where to show a little compassion to others who might suffer from mental health disorders.
I’m not advocating leaving people alone if their personal issues are causing problems with their work.
I am advocating learning how to approach the issue with some heart and humility.
I’ve seen some family business families that have alpha male types who show little or no compassion for people in the family who are not as strong as them. The leader’s strength is a tremendous asset to the family but in this situation it can also be damaging to the family.
One of the greatest challenges we all face is to work in contrast to our natural style. Peacemakers want to make more peace and hard charging results oriented people want more results. The most effective people learn how to switch gears and work from another style when needed.
In the case of people suffering from mental illness, learn to step back and take a breath. These types of issues usually have taken years to develop and likely will take awhile to work on.
Dealing with this type of issue can be a moment when the family really comes together, or conversely comes apart in a way that lasts for generations. The family will follow the lead of its leaders. That’s why it’s so important for the leader to show compassion.
Be strong and be courageous dealing with the issues but also be compassionate. Be compassionate for the person suffering from the issues. Also be compassionate to the other members of the person’s family who are no doubt feeling the pain of their sibling or parent and feeling some sense of embarrassment or disappointment to the broader extended family.
No one likes to deal with mental health issues but unfortunately they are a part of so many families. The sooner the family learns to deal with the issue in a strong, yet compassionate way, the sooner the family will have a chance to move through the issues as a healthy and successful family.
Mental Health Issues are one of 15 landmines found in our Family Business Landmine Detection Kit which can be seen here.