The danger of a family business is that relationships between relatives can easily get confused. The familial relationship is too familiar, and it’s too easy to make assumptions, take things for granted, or make excuses for behavior.
As a result, relationships break down, tension builds, productivity declines, and profits stagnate. It’s not easy around the dinner table at family get-togethers, either. And with the holidays approaching, this will hit home for many family businesses now, more than ever.
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One of my clients was stuck in the middle of that situation. They were a retail business with five locations and 50 employees. The father was the Visionary and the son was the Integrator. The father’s daughter-in-law was in the company as well.
Every time I met with the leadership team, there was noticeable tension in the room. One meeting, we started digging deeper into their Accountability Chart™. It finally became clear why there was so much tension. The father was sitting in more than one seat. He was sitting in the Visionary seat, but he was also sitting in the Operations seat. The son, as the Integrator, was both the father’s direct report and his boss.
Once we clarified that, it was a huge a-ha moment for the team. The father, as the Visionary, was taking things personally when the son was giving him Operations direction. But the father felt that he was being insulted as the Visionary.
Now he realized that the son was focusing on fixing operations problems, not questioning his leadership as a Visionary. That relieved an enormous amount of tension and confusion.
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Cutting the Tension
To prevent confusion and reduce tension, they began wearing different hats to indicate when they were speaking to him as a Visionary or an Operations leader. This provided a visual emphasis to the father so that he wouldn’t take anything the wrong way. It helped him understand how they were communicating to him.
As a result, they streamlined their organization and became much more profitable. Before long, they right-sized the business and got the right people in the right seats to take them to the next level. An Operations leader was hired, and the father was freed up to spend more creative time in his Visionary seat.
Better Relationships and Better Profits
Not only did it strengthen their professional relationships, it also solved a lot of tension at home. When they came together for holidays (and any other time), they were able to have a stronger father/son relationship.
When family relationships get confused in business, EOS® brings in a common set of rules that bring clarity and resolve tension. The result is almost always greater profits and a streamlined business.
Not only that, but EOS will help you enjoy these outcomes as a result:
- Do more of what you love to do…
- …with people you enjoy.
- Become more effective as a company.
- See more profit.
- Find time for other passions in life.
We call that Living the EOS Life!
Ready to see how EOS can make your family-owned business more profitable and more streamlined? Schedule an introductory meeting with me today!