How often do you head out for an important trip or family vacation and not have reservations or a map with directions? Hopefully never.
Yet that’s what so many people do with one of the most important journeys of their lives — their professional journey and their family business journey.
Before you and your family go any further this year, I would like to encourage you to step back for a moment. Ask everyone in the family who is in any way related to the family business the following questions:
- What are the one-to-two most important goals you think we should be trying to achieve in the family business this year?
- What are the one-to-two most important goals you are trying to achieve in your personal life this year?
You’ll be amazed how often you might get a bit of a blank stare or unclear answer.
The point is, you don’t head out on an important trip and say, “I think we’re going to head to the northwest.” You usually want to hear, “We’re driving to Seattle, we’re going to stop in Portland on the second night and we are going to visit the Space Needle on Friday.”
You get the idea?
Please don’t allow your family and family business to head into another year without coming up with a couple of clear goals.
Remember when you went camping and had a little set of camping bowls — they all fit together. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the personal goals fit nicely into the business goals. It’s efficient and practical.
If the business has a goal of getting to Seattle and your personal goal is to head to Mexico, you’re not going to be very efficient or effective throughout the year.
Call a family meeting or have a family dinner and be a leader with your family. Tell the family you’d like to experiment with an exercise at the beginning of the year. You would like everyone to answer two questions. Give them the questions ahead of time and then ask everyone to come to a lunch, dinner or coffee break and share their answers.
You are on an important journey.
Take your time and give everyone permission to step back and be thoughtful about where they’re headed.
If someone’s personal vision or the business’s vision are misaligned, that will be an opening for good discussion. Wouldn’t it be better to know if you were going in opposite directions? Talk about it and try to reconcile your differences, don’t simply keep pushing and pulling working against each other.
Make this happen sooner rather than later. Reach out to me if I can help out in any way along the way.
Pete Walsh is a demanding, courageous and playful Master Coach in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the founder of Peak Workout Business Coaching and the Family Business Performance Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.