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Family. Business. Success! – Part 1

What would happen if you ran your family like a successful business and your business like a successful family?

I believe both would benefit.

This week I’ll share some thoughts on applying business practices at home, and next week I’ll offer some ideas on bringing family values to work.

I’ve been coaching successful leaders since 1987. Most of my clients own, work for or provide services to family businesses. The rest are leaders in publicly-traded companies, private firms, government agencies, schools or non-profits, but they all have one thing in common…their family is the most important part of their life. I’m sure that’s true for you, too.

At first it might seem strange to consider applying your best business practices to your family, but it makes sense.

Here are just some of the similarities.

Both need…

  • everyone to buy into a vision

  • shared values, goals and budgets

  • a positive culture

  • policies and procedures

  • unique individuals to work better together

  • conflict resolved…not avoided

  • leaders to bring out the best in everyone

If your family was a business, you’d have your vision, values and goals written down. You’d define the culture you want to create. You’d have policies and procedures in place. You’d work within a budget. You’d have clear job descriptions. You’d have regular meetings to reward success and hold people accountable for reaching their goals. You’d be helping everyone learn to resolve their conflicts in a positive way, develop their God-given talents and use their strengths to serve others in remarkable ways.

The best companies are also constantly learning, growing and adapting to changes in their environment. The best families do the same thing.

Unfortunately, most leaders come home from work and have little or no energy left for doing their most important job. I’ve talked with several high-performing leaders that admit to being frustrated because their family life has fallen short of their expectations. Some even acknowledge they’re winning at work but losing at home.

I believe part of the problem is too many business leaders don’t have a success system for leading their family like they have for leading their teams. They know how important it is to create and execute a plan at work; but when it comes to leading families, they are more reactive than proactive. Work responsibilities are usually the excuse.

Nothing you will ever do at work will be more important than building and sustaining a positive family culture.

Positive families provide individuals with the encouragement and support they need to flourish. They also teach the value of honesty, respect, responsibility, service, love and forgiveness.

Every leader I know is concerned about the direction of the country, but what’s happening in the White House is not as important as what’s happening in your house. The success of our society has been and will continue to be built on the success of our families.

Are you ready to start creating your family “business” plan?

You can start by choosing one best practice at work you want to implement at home. If it works well for you and your family, choose another one next week.

Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin


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