From Ricki in Texas
Hi coach. We usually have a pretty happy family but recently some issues in the business have caused some separation and conflict in the family and family get-togethers. I really don’t know what to do.
You have to be a leader with everyone involved and continue to reiterate the concept of separating business and family. Even though some people don’t like the way some things have been handled in the business, they need to work hard on not allowing that to impact the family relationships. That’s part of the entry fee for being in a family business. It’s also a question of your family values. In our family we always put family harmony at the top of the value chain. So even when my uncle made some decisions that impacted my compensation, I told my wife that its business and is not personal (remember Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail?)
I know how hard that is to swallow at times but somebody has to be the leader. Keep modeling the way in terms of going to the family events and being peaceful and harmonious; at the same time keep fighting for what you believe in during the business meetings. If at some point the business decisions keep going the direction you don’t want to go, uniquely consider leaving the business so that you can find a work environment that supports your success and still keep a family. That’s what I did.