challenges to the nation’s 12 million family-owned
enterprises are not purely business-related issues.
as research shows, certain behaviors and
attitudes can undermine
these companies’ viability.
Ensure your clients’ success by helping
and not fall victim to these “seven deadly sins.”
It’s the same old song.
Carrying over inappropriate
behaviors, roles and beliefs from the family to
the business—for example, allowing family
members to have their way without justification,
paying them excessive salaries and expecting
junior relatives to assume minor roles in the
We’re one big, happy family.
Not understanding that the traits
of a happy family, such as filial deference,
often run counter to those of a profitable
business, which must be managed in a strictly
They may be executives, but they’ll
always be my children.
Refusing advice from, or summarily
overturning the decisions of, adult children
because of an inability to take them seriously.
If you insist on being yourself,
you’re not being loyal to the family.
Failing to acknowledge family
members as individuals—forcing them to work for
the family business though their talents and
interests lie elsewhere.
Father knows best.
Creating a culture centered around
the business’s founder, who surrounds himself or
herself with easily dominated relatives and
If we ignore it, maybe it will go
away. Failing to address
problems that may emerge with increased
intensity and destructive potential—for example,
procrastinating on succession planning or
allowing family members with deep-seated
conflicts to enter the business.
Don’t let the sheep stray from the
fold. Permitting children to
enter the family business before they have other
work experience that gives them confidence in
their abilities, enables them to resolve
critical childhood issues and reduces the
likelihood of conflict.
|Source: Keep the Family Baggage Out of
the Family Business: Avoiding the Seven Deadly
Sins That Destroy Family Businesses by
Quentin Fleming, Fireside/Simon & Schuster,