The Family Business Balancing Act

In the world of family business, balance is the key to success.

This is especially true when it comes to leadership. When I think of leadership, I picture someone on a balance beam.

As a leader, you can’t afford to lean too far in one direction or another. It’s all about finding that delicate equilibrium.

Here are 6 areas where family business leaders need to find balance.

1. Finding the Balance Between Structure and Flexibility

It’s crucial to find balance in the realm of structure.

While structure is important for efficiency and organization, being too rigid can hinder innovation and impede the growth of your leadership team.

Take, for example, the concept of working from home. Flexibility is valuable, but there are times when it’s necessary to have employees physically present.

Balance comes from knowing when to implement structure and when to allow for flexibility.

2. Balancing Sticking to the Budget vs Capitalizing on Opportunities

Another area where balance plays a significant role is in supply and demand and budgeting.

Some managers may become fixated on adhering strictly to the budget at the cost of missing future opportunities. They may, for example, choose not to send a shipment of free samples because it wasn’t budgeted for – and end up losing a great sales opportunity.

This short-term focus can lead to an imbalance in the long run.

It’s important to exercise discernment and recognize when it’s acceptable to be temporarily out of balance for the sake of future growth.

Balancing your financial decisions can have a lasting impact on your business.

3. Developing a Balanced Team

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your team members is crucial.

For instance, one team member may excel at negotiation while another finds it uncomfortable.

Recognizing these differences and assigning roles accordingly allows you to leverage the strengths of each individual and create a well-rounded team.

By developing a balanced team, you can create a competitive advantage for your business and better serve your customers.

4. Achieving Work-Life Balance (Or Not!)

When people think about balance in the context of work, the term “work-life balance” often comes to mind.

However, achieving this balance is not always realistic.

While it can be a good goal to strive for, there will inevitably be times when work takes precedence over personal life or vice versa.

It’s important to remember that balance is not measured in a single moment but over a longer period.

A temporary imbalance doesn’t necessarily mean that your work-life balance is completely out of whack. Instead, it’s about recognizing the broader picture.

5. Balancing the Responsibility for Balancing

In the realm of business, achieving balance is not solely the responsibility of the employer.

Employers generally don’t push for excessive overtime or interfere with personal life.

In many cases, issues arise due to the employee’s (lack of) boundaries and time management skills.

Just because the leader likes to work outside of normal working hours, doesn’t mean employees must do the same.

This may require some training or developing a culture that encourages individual advocacy and setting clear boundaries.

A hack for leaders that fit this category is to use the option in their email system to schedule the sending of emails during normal working hours, this might take the pressure off employees that feel they need respond immediately, including after hours.

6. Becoming a Balanced Leader

From a leadership perspective, balance means perfecting the skill of performing various tasks through others while staying on track with the overarching goals of the business.

Leaders must know when to jump, where to focus their efforts, and when to delegate.

It’s unrealistic to expect leaders to be experts in every aspect of the business.

Their true strength lies in their ability to bring a diverse group of people together, guiding them towards a shared vision.

The family business balancing act is a skill that must be learned, honed, and practiced.

Leaders need to possess the resilience to keep trying, to explore new ideas, and to be creative.

The ability to balance structure and flexibility, supply and demand, budgets, and team dynamics all contribute to the success of a family business.

So, as leaders, let’s step onto that metaphorical balance beam and strive for excellence in maintaining balance in all aspects of our business.

If you’d like some support finding or maintaining that balance, feel free to book a call with me: Talk to Brandi

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