Think about your family and your family business like a soup, or a casserole. A tasty soup becomes great by combining a unique mix of ingredients with just the right amount of preparation and heat.
As you approach the holiday season, I thought I’d share my recipe for making your family and your family business get a “5-Star” rating.
Here’s your recipe!
Diversity makes it all flavorful. In today’s families, diversity could mean different political views, different religious backgrounds, ethnicity and even sexual orientation. Successful families embrace the diversity and realize it’s going to make an even stronger family.
Tension is what binds great teams. Most families avoid tension. When a family can learn to lean into their tension, they will become more resilient and courageous.
Ego makes for a bad soup. Egos make us compete, compare and be conceded. Do everything you can to ask everyone to leave all of their egos at the door (and their cell phones for that matter.)
Compassion and a warm heart can really keep it all together. Every family has personalities and shortcomings. When you can be compassionate for one another’s failures and foibles, you can be better human beings for each other.
Humor makes it fun and lighthearted. Some families hide behind humor and can overuse this ingredient. The right amount of humor can make it a pleasure.
Camaraderie is the word I got from Jeff, a family client, many years ago. It made perfect sense and is one of my top ingredients. When you can learn to like to be together and have each other’s backs, you have an extraordinary family. Thanks Jeff!
Leadership is the quality that helps everyone come together and stay on track. Great families have a few good leaders and foster up-and-coming leaders in the clan.
Gratitude is like the smell of a wonderful dish the family can put out. Savor it, take it in, don’t take it for granted. Soak in gratitude for all the gifts your family has been given.
Love is the butter of all dishes. It always makes everything better. Learn how to genuinely and generously spread love on all your family gatherings and you will be very satisfied and have a full heart!
We keep a handwritten copy of Grandma Nelly’s favorite casserole she fed us for 50 years framed on our kitchen wall. It’s a constant reminder of what it feels like when it all comes together for our family.
Consider sharing this recipe with your clan and use it as a framework for some discussion. Enjoy the process of letting the dish and all its flavors come together!
These ingredients are all part of the Family Business Playbook and Decathlon.
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. Contact Pete to learn more about family business coaching and training options.