Helping Family Businesses Prosper Across Generations
By David Karofsky
The Family Business Consulting Group
Have you ever experienced someone in your business whose oversized sense of entitlement has given them an inflated idea of their abilities and what they are owed?
What if that someone is your child (and potential successor) in your business?
“Born on third, but thinks he hit a triple!”
When this person is part of a family business, this sense of entitlement can wreak havoc. Where this really gets sticky is when the entitled family member makes assumptions or demands about their position with respect to leadership and ownership. This becomes a problem when the expectations attached to it are unrealistic and not in the best interest of the business as a whole. Failing to deal with this early and directly can strain family relationships, forcing members into warring camps, and ultimately pulling the business apart.
As tempting as it is to kick the can down the road, you will want to retire someday. Have you allowed your son or daughter to see themselves as the heir apparent without proper grooming? Without proper conversations and grooming around the required skills and capabilities, when you’re ready to retire, it may be too late.
There are two primary reasons don’t address these issues: guilt and fear. Don’t let these things keep you from doing what is necessary and right. Start by building a culture around family values. Facilitate challenging conversations. These things most often require an independent consultant/facilitator.
It is tough to have challenging conversations inside of a family business. But the payoff is a happier, more functional and healthy family, and a brighter future for the business.