Business and Family Success - Can You Have Both?

One of the mantras around our offices concerns the health of interpersonal relationships in a family owned business.  It’s quite simple, and I really like it.  Are you ready?  Here it is:  No business success is worth a family failure.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that everyone’s family, my own included, experiences some level of dysfunction.  It can be anywhere from somewhat comical to outright tragic.  Imagine reaching a high level of business and financial success only to learn that your spouse wants a divorce and your children don’t want to be around you. 

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Are You Caught In The Right "Wonderloop" for Driving Business Growth for Your Business?

More than a few years ago, several of us would record music segments and splice them together to create what we called a “wonderloop.” Sometimes the only wonder was why we did it in the first place.

After getting involved in the business world, I discovered that the wonderloop concept was transferable. In business, it wasn’t music or sounds that I wanted playing over and over. It was product or service performance.

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4 Steps for Improving Decision Making and Business Performance

Recently, a CEO friend was ranting about the poor judgment shown by her senior management team. “What I need around here,” she said, “are some good problem solvers and decision makers.” She used several more minutes to vent; and then she asked for my thoughts.

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Business Growth - How to Leverage What You Already Have

The seeds for The New Marketing Method were first sown by a Frenchman known as Voltaire in 1759. Voltaire ended a short novel called Candide with these words: “… we must go and work our garden.” Think of that garden as your current customer/client base.

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How to Be a Better Leader Using Both Your Positional and Personal Power

Today, let’s talk about how you brand your use of power and influence within your business and/or within your family.

To begin, you should know that, for many years, I have maintained that the use of power and influence is at least the skeletal definition of leadership. Many have suggested that somehow the “intention” or the “outcome” also has to be considered; but, personally, I believe that gives leadership a moral connotation that is more properly the responsibility of the individual using leadership rather than leadership itself. I guess that’s another way of saying that some people give leadership a bad name.

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5 Keys for Business Growth In Tough Economic Times

The question is, however, what does destiny look like? As I write this, I expect that the Dow will open below 7,000 for the first time in more than a decade. The S&P and the NASDAQ have also cratered but not yet bottomed. If I were “Chicken Little,” I would be saying that the sky is falling.

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What if the Manager Who Doesn't Get It Is One Of My Children??

Previously, we talked about the tendency to promote people into management positions because they are excellent performers who need advancement. Sometimes, that results in losing a high performer and not gaining a good manager/leader; so we gave you a list of ten questions to review prior to promoting someone – family member or not, into a more responsible position.

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What Do I Do With Managers Who Don't "Get It"

Financial advisors tell us pretty quickly that the past performance of a stellar stock or fund is no guarantee of its future performance. Nevertheless, realizing that someone is in over his/her head can be a real shock to the person who put them in a position of greater responsibility.

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10 Questions To Evaluate If Managers Have What It Takes!

“He/She was so good before I moved them. I don’t know what happened.” That is said so often, it is almost unbelievable. The problem isn’t “them.” The problem is that you promoted excellent performers with a specific set of skills into a position that does not require what they are good at doing.

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How to Cut Back Without Crippling Your Organization

Around the proverbial water cooler, I have heard business owners discussing the reduction of expenses and, of course, we always end up on the topic of reduction of staff. During this last period of business expansion, we have steadily been increasing our staff due to increased sales volume, service support and ability to handle all of the administrative paperwork that flies in the wake of success. One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is to think about letting go the highest paid, most experienced employees for a less experienced, yet less expensive replacement. If you remember reading “Good to Great,” Collins maintains that it is essential to have the “right people on the bus” that will secure your long-term success. These talented people do the right things, at the right time, because it is the right thing to do, and usually without you having to micro-manage or browbeat them to get it done.

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How to Assemble Your Succession Planning Team, Who Needs to Have a Place at the Table?

As we begin a client relationship, one of the questions that often comes up concerns what happens to the accountant, banker, lawyer, and insurance advisors that have become friends, neighbors, and trusted advisors over the years. "Do I have to fire them?"

Well, no. Of course not. You should know and believe, however, that your team is giving you the best available advice in their specific areas of responsibility. After all, you and your spouse have put a lot of time, money, and energy into getting where you are. Some people would call that sacrifice. We call it insuring a legacy for generations still to come.

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Do I Need a Succession Plan If I'm Going to Sell the Business?

Some would say “No.” And they might be right. However, I would encourage them to talk with Jay (not his real name) before they make a final decision.

We had been talking with Jay for several months about why a succession plan would be important to him. “My children have no interest in the business,” he told us. And, since he had no brothers, sisters, or other generational family members involved or interested in the business, he could see no practical value in moving ahead with our recommendations regarding succession planning. 

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How to Overcome Communication Shipwrecks

Many people believe that conflict is natural and something to be sought after.  So far, January of 2010 has been filled with conflict.  Earthquakes (Haiti), political surprises (Massachusetts, Ben Bernake’s appointment), judicial surprises (Supreme Court and political contributions), and family squabbles.  Most of the family squabbles probably haven’t made the news; but for the people involved in many of them, the damage is every bit as catastrophic.

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