Live and Lead for Impact with Kirsten E. Ross

226 The Work of One Preparing for Conversations & Choices in Your Family Business

I Help Build Your High Performing Team and Make Your Bigger Bolder Impact

Get What You Need from Your Team – Even if they’re family

Important first step – family businesses can struggle with feelings of obligation or entitlement between the Now Gen and Next Gen

Often assumptions are what drive the path of the Next Gen into the business.

I’ve seen it so many times.  A Next Gen feeling the weight of responsibility to run the business, generate profits that will support the employees, family members and Now Gen through retirement.

Often, underneath is a lack of confidence and an uncertainty about desire.

Most often family members fear and worry about what might be a difficult conversation. They have assumptions about how the conversation will go and the reactions of close family members.  

It is especially difficult to have the tenacity required to initiate what might be a tough conversation if we aren’t clear about what we’re asking for.

When I begin working with a client who has not engaged in self-discovery there is usually knowledge about what they don’t want  - Often – I don’t want what is – but no clear idea about what they do want.

And….they usually have not identified the key reasons WHY they don’t want the current circumstance.

Is it fear, lack of confidence, staying silent rather than speaking up, how they are being treated currently……

The list goes on.

Ideally, each family member will take time to clarify what he or she desires from the business.  If they current circumstance is not what is desired learn why – all of this will help drive the conversation and path.

EXAMPLE – 2nd Gen – 30’s – Lacked Confidence – felt she didn’t want to be a leader or couldn’t be good at it.

Not interested in running the family business

No Creative Exploration – She saw only 2 paths – run the business – exit the business

Self Exploration =Loved CFO work.  Did not want to run the business – Was a good leader – just needed to build her skills – 

End result – CFO – hire a President – Build Leadership Skills


The Take Away Lessons from this example:


First Explore Why You don’t Want to go Down the Current Path


  • Lack confidence
  • Lack knowledge or experience
  • Feel unheard
  • Feel powerless
  • Feel lack of life balance
  • Building resentments
  • Things feel unfair
  • Unrealistic Expectations – you or others.


Create a Clear Path – to a new possibility – Identify in Detail

  • Future Desires
  • Strengths
  • Passions
  • How Do You Want to Spend Your Time?
  • Where Do You Want to Live?
  • What Do You Want?
  • What Do You Need?

Get Creative

  • Now that You’re Clear About What You Want – How Can You Get There
  • Time to Get Creative

Creative Exploration

  • Explore New Paths 
  • Consider Alternate Options
  • Identify New Possibilities
  • What If……….
  • Could it Be…………


Direct download: 226.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT