Too often we see siblings wasting precious time to try and “one up” the other in a family business. All in the hope of coming out as the designated leader of the family business.
This behavior at best, is counterproductive and highly distracting for non-family workers who are actually trying to do their job.
This story has been around forever it seems. We are naturally hardwired to compete out in the world and try to shine as much as possible. We all strive for the most accolades, attention, affection, respect and everything and anything that can make us feel we stand out. But at what price? Some, sadly, are still acting like cavemen stomping around carelessly leaving a trail of debris behind them.
Today’s non-family workers are looking for more mature, dynamic leadership to help keep them motivated and focused. When siblings spend the bulk of their time trying to outdo the other, it drives good people away. Let’s look at some steps than can ease the hardship of leadership amongst siblings.
1- Self-awareness is key, put it into practice. Pay attention to what you say and how you act. You may not understand that your sibling may have a different interpretation to what you say and do as opposed to the rest of the team. Blood is a funny thing: it makes you react in a way towards family unlike any other relationship work or otherwise we may have. Evaluate and take your time, make sure to get the right message across.
2- No room for ego. No need to prove your worth, everyone already knows how valuable your contribution is. You all share common goals and will work together more efficiently without having to prove something to the rest of the family.
3- Know each other’s strengths and weaknesses - assume the appropriate role. We all have a different genius to contribute. Find out what yours is - your business can only thrive by pulling all your strengths towards the same goal.
4- Give support where and when needed for the good of each other and the business as a whole. Objectively assessing where you are strong or weak is key here. Be objective and find ways you can help them in those areas. Also, don’t forget to ask for help with your own weaknesses.
5- Use Feedback to motivate, challenge and keep each other in check. Constructive feedback builds you, inspires you, motivates you. If you challenge your siblings and provide constructive feedback, you grow as family, business, leaders and people.
Every team needs many different types and styles of leaders. Spend time exploring and understanding each other's inherent strengths and design your roles around those strengths.
Remember, divide and conquer… and stay a united as a family.If you are having trouble defining rolls in your Family Business or need conflict resolution assistance, book a Free Consultation with Angela.