Do you have a family-first business or a business-first family?
There’s a scene in the movie All the Money in the World where John Paul Getty announces that he has just fired one of his executives.
He turns to his son: “I’m making you executive vice president in charge of European Operations.”
His son: “What? All I know about oil is…regular or premium.”
Getty: “You wanted a job. I’m giving it to you. Sink or swim.”
As you might have guessed, the son didn’t turn out to be a very good executive.
The very first step towards becoming a prosperous family business is to answer the question: will you be a family-first business or a business-first family?
Problems that spring from having a family-first business
While not always as egregious as the movie example, putting unqualified people into roles just because they are family is one of many signs that you have a family-first business instead of a business-first family. Here are 6 more:
- Lack of alignment. No shared purpose or unifying vision because decisions are being made in the best interest of the family instead of the company.
- Weak leadership. Unqualified people are in senior roles, or the deceased founder is still managing the company “from the grave”
- High turnover. Losing good people because there’s a “ceiling to promotion” for non-family members.
- Lack of trust and accountability. Political structures or cliques along family branches.
- Poor decision making. Decision-making needs to be consensual or democratic, causing yourself and others to be stuck in circular conversations or caught in a logjam where no decision is made.
- Resistance to outside perspective. An echo chamber has been created by family members with poor governance, and boards comprised entirely of family members and friends.
The first step towards building a prosperous family business is to answer the question:
Are you going to be a family-first business or a business-first family?
The question is simple, but the impact is far-reaching.
Either answer is fine.
Many businesses choose to be family-first and can be successful as family-supporting lifestyle businesses. These businesses tend to have a limited lifespan and a ceiling on growth.
However, if you’d like to grow and increase your impact, the first step to Prosperity is to decide to become a business-first family.
Free Video: the Big Decision
Will you be a family-first business? Or a business-first family?
The question is simple, but the impact of the decision is far-reaching. Watch this video to learn:
- Why making this decision is the first and most important step towards business growth & prosperity
- What it (really) means to be a business-first family
- 5 key areas that this decision impacts
This video is included in our free resource library. Enter your email address below to get instant access.