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Families in Business Blog

A family business leader must command and not demand respect

Many older family business leaders tell me they are struggling with the concept of emotional intelligence. My answer to them is to read a book written in 1936 and if apply those principles you are on the way to understanding that it's not new but common sense
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Decision making is less stressful when you have a trusted mentor to use as a sounding board

It's extremely difficult to run a family business by consensus. In fact I think it's impossible.Someone has to take on the role of leadership. That could then place you in a position of isolation within the family group. Who is protecting you?
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Sometimes a difficult decision in Family Business is deciding if you need to get bigger

Many years ago our family business was faced with a problem. My Brother and I were experiencing rapid growth and had out grown our facilities. We had an external review of the business done and concluded that we were 'Growing Broke". We could no longer finance the growth from cash flow. Fortunately we had developed systems and reports that made it easy to see what was happening.
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Only one in three family businesses survive past the second generation

At a recent family business breakfast event I spoke about the inability of older family members to have open and honest conversations with all family members. One interesting statistic is the high percentage of business owners who fail to have succession discussions with their partner.
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Would you board a bus if you didn't know here it was going

It is not often that I come across a family business where the family leader and family members can articulate or paint a picture of what the vision of the future looks like. If your family business where a bus what would the destination say? Why would anyone get on board?
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Refreshing to be involved with a generation of young professionals and entrepreneurs

I get great delight in mentoring young executives. Next generation family members don't always have to work in the family firm. Some will take flight and go elsewhere and are successful in their own right. That is why many young Irish born people end up in Australia.
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Families in business often create a culture that includes employees as extended family members

Business is about people doing business with people. In a family business, your success is often driven by how you communicate with all employees and the trust you build and develop through interpersonal relationships
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In a private company someone has to lead and someone has to manage

Selecting a family member from siblings to be the leader in a family business must be based on merit and recognised leadership skills. It has nothing to do with education, age or gender. It's all about who can lead the business and the staff to an agreed future vision.
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You can throw the next generation into the deep end. You must be there to pull them out if needed

I often come across siblings in family business who say their parents still treat them as if they are school kids. They cannot learn if they are not given responsibility or a chance to have a go.
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Emotional Intelligence in family business. Changing leadership styles in 2017

The old days of command and control by the head or founder in a family business should be dead and buried in 2017
Every one is now talking about Emotional Intelligence as the most effective leadership attribute. So what does IE really mean for families in business? Is it just a new business buzz word?
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