In honor of Father’s Day, I am focusing this month’s blogs towards all the dads out there. Hey Dad — you’re just going to have to deal with the fact that not everybody’s got your personality type (thank goodness – right?).
One of the greatest sources of conflict and frustration in the family business can be different personality types. The sooner the family can learn to appreciate and honor all of the different types, the sooner the family has a chance to create a stronger, more cohesive team.
Sometimes for us dads, it’s hard to understand and appreciate the different personality types. At the end of the day that seems to be one of nature’s tricks and/or nature’s gifts that we all have a different personality.
The problem is that for some dads and for some family businesses everyone expects the next- generation to be a clone of dad or the founder. That’s rarely the case.
It’s important for Dad to realize that for the family business to carry on it’s going to be important to let the next-generation find their own unique voice and personality.
The worst thing that can happen is for someone to try to replicate Dad’s personality when it’s really not their authentic self. Conversely, it’s important that Dad not be expecting and encouraging his children to be just like him.
I like to use the analogy of the cell phone. Maybe me and many other dads are like the old brick phone–solid, dependable, larger than life and sometimes a bit awkward. Imagine where we would be or where the cell phone industry would be if we were still communicating with the brick phone. For those in the younger generation that don’t know what it looked like, here’s what it looked like.
For the next generation Dad, we want to see our kids become like today’s smartphones with all sorts of advanced features and functionality to navigate to the world and create greater communication and connection.
So as Father’s Day approaches, learn to really appreciate and accept the different personalities that are in your family and on your team. Many of them have the same underlying sturdiness and solidness of you, but have a bit more flashy features to meet today’s demanding world.
Appreciating different personality types is one of 20-plus exercises in the Family Business Performance Center’s Family Business Survival System. Check it out here.