In my last post, “How to Find Balance Between Family and Business,” I suggested that there are three things that great and enduring family businesses do:

  1. They are dedicated to creating a balance between family and business priorities.

  2. They proactively encourage and are dedicated to the family’s cohesive, supportive values that promote family and business balance.

  3. They achieve Succession Success.

In this post, I will address step 2, Solidify and Preserve the Culture of Balance.  A great family business recognizes that balance between family and business doesn’t happen naturally. A family that openly discusses, debates, understands, agrees upon, documents and conveys its core values, guiding principles, strategic plans, and family policies is on the right track to achieving greatness and long-term continuity. They understand the inevitable impact that family relationships have upon business operations. They do not shrink away from tough interpersonal relationship challenges.

Great families learn that conflict is not a disease that needs to be avoided. Rather, they learn how to effectively handle conflict and successfully navigate their way toward mutually satisfactory solutions. They learn that divergent attitudes and motivators are okay…that disagreements among family members are natural and totally normal and do not destroy the individual identities of the various members or somehow mean that they’re not compatible. In essence, they address the hard issues of family dynamics in order to model, communicate and promote to future generations that “it take work, but we are dedicated to maintaining a balance between the family and business environments.” They recognize the importance being a good example as the next generation represents their number one asset.

If the next generation doesn’t learn how to communicate and efficiently work together from current generations, tell me please where are they going to get it? Be aware that you cannot hold your children accountable to standards to which you have not held yourself accountable.

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