Avoiding Family Feuds

No one wants their legacy to be a feuding family but sadly this often occurs when the senior family members fail to recognize the differences between a healthy family system and a successful business system.  If the differences are not understood and taken into consideration, even the best business succession and estate plans can fail.

There are stark differences between the two systems.  A family system is based on emotions and the needs of individuals.  A business system is based on specific tasks that need to be accomplished with the success of the business being paramount.

In a family system when a family member makes a mistake everyone typically wants to forgive them.  Family members are often tolerant of mistakes and many times relatives want to jump right in and help those in need get through whatever difficulties they are experiencing.

In a business system, everyone keeps track of the mistakes that are made.  In fact, mistakes are often formally documented and recorded for future review and analysis.  Evaluations are performance based.

Expecting a business system to function like a family system, even if it is a healthy family system, can lead to disaster.  If you fail to recognize the differences and don't incorporate the necessary separation between the two systems, then any type of an event in one of the two systems can start a chain reaction that can begin a family feud.

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