The 4th of July always reminds me of the importance of independence.
Having a successful, strong family requires a delicate balance of both cooperative and independent people.
Too many families think everything will be great if, “We can all just think alike and get along. We should keep doing what we’ve been doing in order to have continued success.”
Founders Listen Up!
Several recent studies have proven that when workers are given even the littlest bit of freedom to make decisions about how they should do their work, or live their life, their productivity and happiness goes way up!
As a parent, it’s so tempting to just want to tell my son and daughter what to do. I want to say, “Watch what Mom and I have done, follow that recipe and your life will be great!”
The reality is they have different ways of looking at the world and new ways of getting things done. Sure, I hope they take some of what we’ve done and add their own unique approach to it.
In the family business setting, new ideas and new ways of approaching things are vital to long-term success. One of the most difficult challenges is to enable new ideas and foster a healthy amount of independent thinking.
Founders can be stubborn and convinced their way is the best way, and hey, their track record is a great scorecard to justify that thinking.
What they need to understand and appreciate, is that having strong-minded independent thinkers will probably foster more genuine passion and determination to achieve new and even higher level of results.
The irony is that most entrepreneurs are strong-minded people. That strong-minded spirit is what drove them to work hard, be creative and set a new course. Later in life it’s natural to want to “play it safe” and not take any new chances.
Great founders create an environment where strong, talented people are given room to come up with new ideas and take some reasonable risks within the foundation of a strong, established business.
To be successful, the family needs to give the younger generation room to, “put their fingerprints” on the road map to the future.
In the meantime, sit back, take a deep breath, ask good questions and try to both mentor and learn from the new ways of looking at the world!
Play to your potential!
Independence is just one of the 50 Skills that are part of my 50 Skills Assessment. Email me and I’ll be glad to share a free copy of the assessment you can use with your family.
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.