How long have you been working with family businesses?
In the 1980’s I worked in and became CEO of a family business that was national in its operations and was the leader in its field in Australia. The complexities, intricacies, and uniqueness of family businesses intrigued me. Over the years I have bought a family business, worked in family businesses and consulted to family businesses in a range of industries and at various stages of their development.
What’s one of the most common mistakes you see in family businesses?
Assumptions: Assumptions about ‘we are different, therefore’. Assumptions around “I am the eldest therefore I know…”. Assumptions regarding communication. Assumptions focusing on ‘this is how I did it, and it worked’. Assumptions about rights, responsibilities, and accountabilities. Assumptions about “I was born into the family therefore I have a right…’. Assumptions about business models, roles of outside Directors and advisors, about seeking assistance.
What is your “uh ha” moment with your clients? When they realise…
‘To understand Leadership is to understand Yourself’.
Each member of a family and of a business is unique. When we understand what gets us up in the morning, what sets of our stress triggers, what motivates and enthuses us, how our behaviors affect others, what turns us on, what detracts, what allows us to achieve our own potential. That “uh ha” moment opens up potential.
Our values underpin all that we are and all that we do. Family members realising that through values driven leadership we create a sense of Belonging, Identity and Purpose for all around us is a simple but enlightening moment where businesses and families can turn a corner.