From Kevin in Dallas
How do I get Dad and/or Mom to give me some decision-making room of my own in the business?
Good question Kevin. So many of these founding fathers and mothers got to where they are because they are confident and have strong beliefs about how things should be done. Unfortunately, many times this leads to successful entrepreneurs who have a hard time letting go.
You need to help them see that it’s important for you and your development as a business person to have some opportunities to put your own fingerprints on things. Moms and dads usually ask me “why fix it if it isn’t broken?”
What they need to understand is that even though it’s not broken, it’s important for young business professionals to establish their own identity and their own way of solving problems and innovating.
The real challenge here is to find places in the business where you can begin to develop your own ideas, and at the same time not stress out the parents that you’re going to ruin the business. Start with ideas that pose small risks to mom and dad. Keep reminding them that what’s important for the business in the long run is to develop strong, confident business people.
How you do things may not be exactly how they did it, but what’s more important is that you demonstrate good decision-making and leadership skills before they ultimately hand over the reins.
I was fortunate because in our business this was one area where my uncle really had good instincts. He continued to give me opportunities to make decisions and find my way. To this day, 25 years later I still regret ordering that $50,000 of Xerox business equipment that I had a hell of a hard time selling! Fortunately for me, he chalked it up to gaining experience — so much for small risks J