Family business runs deep in my genes!
My great uncle and grandfather started Walsh Bros. as a typewriter repair company in 1919 in downtown Phoenix, AZ in the young and wild Western United States.
By the time I came on the scene in the early 1960s the business had earned an excellent reputation with its customers, employees and the community.
It was not uncommon to have multiple generations of families as employees in the business and from an early age I wanted to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps and join the business.
I worked part time in the business during high school along with other part-time jobs in other companies. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in business I joined the company full time in 1983.
Over the next 16 years, I slowly worked my way up the company ladder starting in sales, becoming the Division Manager of our business machines division and eventually migrating into our office furniture division as a project manager and eventually becoming the Vice President of Operations.
I was blessed to be a part of something special. My grandfather was a very hands-on business leader and a visionary in many ways. He created monthly bonus programs in each part of the business to help employees not only feel ownership in the results, but see benefits from their hard work in their monthly bonus check.
The tradition of hard work and innovation continued with my uncle. The company had many innovative programs that continued to foster employee participation and ownership and created a very strong and professional company culture involving many nonfamily business professionals in leadership positions.
As I reached my mid to late thirties I had developed a strong mind set and a desire for autonomy that I felt was limited within the current management and ownership structure. The company ownership was comprised of many non-active, third-generation cousins and the road to autonomy and ownership seemed like a long and uphill journey.
So after much heartfelt contemplation I decided to venture out on my own and be in 100 percent in control of my destiny.
I left on good terms with my family although I know my departure surprised many of my direct reports who assumed I would be there for the entirety of my career. I never looked back and I never regretted my decision.
As it turned out leadership and leadership development was my true passion and starting my executive coaching business was the perfect fit for me.
In 2008 the family had an opportunity to sell the business to Target Corporation bringing an end to Walsh Bros after a successful 89-year run.
As a natural evolution of my executive coaching business I was asked to work with family business families. My own family business experience coupled with working with leaders in corporate America provided a great skill set to help family business families.
As I worked with more and more families I realized there was a great need and limited resources available to families. At the same time the internet was gaining popularity, momentum and access and I realized it was an opportunity to provide proven tools and advice in a larger exponentially impactful way via something like the Family Business Performance Center.
Today I feel like I get to make an impact partnering with many great family business stories like Walsh Brothers. Every family business has a different story.
I hope we will be able to help you and your family as your story unfolds.