While we’ve covered many topics this year, most pulled straight from Tom Hubler’s book, The Soul of Family Business, none have been covered with as much depth and time as trust, betrayal, and forgiveness. Because these topics are all so interconnected, for the end of 2019, we’ve pulled them all together in one place so you can reference them at-a-glance or send an easy roadmap to those in need of guidance. (Of course, for the truly comprehensive collection of all this advice, you can simply purchase The Soul of Family Business as a gift for others or even yourself.)
The Last Challenge of Entrepreneurship
We’ve been spending quite a bit of time lately discussing some of the stickier elements of family dynamics and family businesses, and while that’s crucially important to discuss, constant talks of betrayal, forgiveness rituals, trust, and more can be emotionally draining. So as we approach the holiday season, we thought it would be a good idea to offer up a quick reminder of the importance of simple family rituals that let us put business aside and come together to reaffirm our love for one another.
To enjoy the holidays, leave the family business at work.
The music of the holiday season fills our lives. Images of chestnuts roasting on an open fire and family gatherings around the hearth dance through our heads like sugarplum fairies - or at least that is the popular mythology we think about for the holidays.
But for members of family-owned businesses, the holidays can be a very different story.
“What is forgiveness?” Yes, this sounds like a silly question, doesn’t it? Many of us would immediately respond, “jeez, the answer is so obvious,” but before you write off the question, really think about it. Is it as obvious as it seems, or is forgiveness a concept that is more than a bit tricky to put into words? For our purposes, we like Dr. Frederic Luskin’s definition from his book Forgive for Good.
Forgiveness is the feeling of peace that emerges as you take your hurt less personally, take responsibility for how you feel, and become a hero instead of a victim in the story you tell. Forgiveness is the experience of peacefulness in the present moment. Forgiveness does not change the past, but it changes the present. Forgiveness means that even though you are wounded, you choose to hurt and suffer less. Forgiveness means you become part of the solution. Forgiveness is the understanding that hurt is a normal part of life. Forgiveness is for you and for no one else. You can forgive and rejoin a relationship, or forgive and never speak to the person again.
Thank you to Nancy Meyer with WeMentor for inviting me to discuss family business ownership, building a family legacy, the Top 10 Obstacles in Succession Planning, and of course, The Soul of Family Business on her "WeMentor Mondays with Nancy" podcast.
I am honored to have been featured in two episodes of WeMentor Mondays and hope our discussions help the family business owners or members who listen.
“Forgiveness can seed a new beginning in our relationship with a betrayer. Forgiveness allows us to understand that “to be wrong is nothing, unless you remember it,” as was so wisely stated by Confucius. Forgiveness helps clean the slate for you and others. Because family members love one another, forgiveness is essential so that relationships can be renewed after a betrayal.” –Tom Hubler, The Soul of the Family Business
Last week we broached the sticky subject of betrayal within family businesses. We covered how the overlapping circles, interconnected responsibilities, and sometimes unclear expectations that come with working alongside family can make family businesses a landmine of potential betrayal, both intention and accidental. But while the best medicine for betrayal is avoiding it in the first place, today we’ll discuss how to overcome betrayal once it’s already happened, which means jumping into the process of forgiveness and Family Forgiveness Rituals™.
The Soul of Family Business by Tom Hubler is being promoted in Brazil's Revista Empreendedor.
Founded in 1994, Revista Empreendedor is based in Florianópolis, Brazil. The business magazine aims to promote entrepreneurship and to support Brazilian entrepreneurs by presenting business opportunities and best management practices for innovation and sustainability.
Next to death, few tragedies we encounter are as deeply and personally painful as a betrayal by someone you love and care about. Maliciously undermining the presumption of trust can cause huge emotional and psychological damage, and when it occurs within a business (and especially a family-run business), this damage can even ruin otherwise successful enterprises. It’s no wonder that Tom Hubler ranks betrayal as “a top destroyer of otherwise-successful family businesses.”
Author Tom Hubler explains how it helps both the business and the family.
By Chris Farrell, Unretirement Expert
Most family business consultants talk about the nitty-gritty finances of running an enterprise successfully. But to Tom Hubler, a St. Paul, Minn.-based pioneer in family business consulting, it’s all about “soul.”
A former therapist, Hubler is a founding member and fellow of the Family Firm Institute in Boston, which is now international, with over 10,000 members. For more than a decade, he has taught family business management at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Hubler, 77, recently published The Soul of Family Business: A Practical Guide to Family Business Success and A Loving Family and I met with him at a St. Paul coffee shop in St. Paul to discuss it. Highlights:
After all the hard work that goes into creating a useful Inside-Out Succession Plan™, it can be easy to forget that a just-as-difficult challenge lies in putting that plan into action and taking all the necessary steps to make sure that your succession plan proves to be truly successful. Far too many entrepreneurs and business owners will put incredible work into crafting the perfect plan only to find themselves burnt out and ready to leave before it can be fully realized, leaving the future generation without the proper guidance, training, and leadership they need to succeed.
View original article on CRaKN.net.
Too much stress has the ability to negatively impact many, if not all, areas of your life.
In fact, chronic stress carries high financial, physical, and psychological costs, all of which can be doubly punishing in a family business.
“What many consider normal day-to-day family issues can produce stress that can cause serious harm if unacknowledged,” explains Tom Hubler, a sought-after family business consultant with about 40 years of experience in helping family-owned businesses thrive.
Last month, we started our discussions of Inside-Out Succession Planning™, a framework for creating plans to move the business from a current (and often original) owner. Transferring a business from a founding generation to new ownership is a hurdle at which many otherwise successful businesses fall. This is not necessarily due to incompetence on the part of either the new ownership or the founder, but rather a failure to take into account all the complexities involved in smooth, financially and emotionally healthy transfer of power and leadership.
Originally posted by CRaKN.
Not many would argue against the idea that a funeral home’s history and its values are central to the firm.
That history and those core values are also central to the experience you offer families, too, says Tom Hubler, a sought-after family business consultant with about 40 years of experience in helping family-owned businesses overcome obstacles and thrive.
One of the single hardest aspects of maintaining a successful family business is transferring it from one generation to the next. Only a third of family-run businesses will survive the transition from the first generation to the second, and while this is often attributed to the founding member’s singular vision, singular leadership style, or singular business mindset, the truth is that many of these failures are not due to a new generation unable to live up to the founder’s ideals but rather the founding generation failing to adequately create a smart succession plan.
Far too often, businesses become “family” businesses without much prior thought: “A small business needs new employees to expand, so why not hire the kids?” “We have a new role to fill, and our cousin seems good at that, so it just makes sense.” “My business is my life, so of course I’ll make it a part of the family; why wouldn’t I?” Decisions like this are often the default position, and it’s easy to see why. We know our families. We (generally) understand trust them, and even if they aren’t perfect, we’re used to dealing with their faults. Hiring outsiders can be a long, stressful, imperfect process and as the old adage goes, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
Thank you to getAbstract for selecting The Soul of Family Business as their Editor's Picks Abstract of the Week! View the abstract and recommendation below.
We’ve discussed nepotism—the act of those in power favoring friends and family members when hiring, promoting, or building a business—before, but now it’s time to talk about the flip side of this phenomenon: entitlement. While entitlement can exist in senior generations of a family business, it’s most commonly associated with younger generations, where younger-generation family members feel entitled to certain rolls or positions of power or authority in a business by virtue of simply being related to the business owner or leader.
Minnesota Family Business Awards Call for Entry!
As the founder of the Minnesota Family Business Awards, which now is in its 12th year, I would like to invite you to submit nominations for this year's award!- Tom Hubler
See details below!
As a fan of classic films, I am always searching for films that apply to family businesses. I recently viewed the 1936 film, Dodsworth, that stars Walter Houston in the title role, as well as Ruth Chatterton and Mary Astor. Dodsworth, an entrepreneur, owns an automobile manufacturing company, who sells his company and retires without a plan for his future—not unlike many real-life entrepreneurs.
As soon as Dodsworth retires, his wife, Fran, begins to plan their extensive trip to Europe and throughout the process both Dodsworth and Fran encounter differences in their expectations for the trip. Their differences are similar to what my former colleague, Jeff Rothstein, referred to as “What’s the Deal?” Jeff’s assumption was that all couples have an implicit “deal” that is never spoken about and governs how they interact with each other. Jeff posited that when couples move into their 60s, they begin to discuss and question their expectations for their golden years. From Jeff’s perspective, this is an opportunity to dialogue and recalibrate your expectations and come to a common understanding about your future together.
Nearly all couples have implicit, unmentioned, assumptions about their marital relationship. As couples get older and consider retirement or changing their work relationship, many have not considered a plan for the future. They have no resources, no practice, no roadmap, and when they look ahead, they feel adrift.
Read the rest of the article at StrategyDriven.
I'm excited to let everybody know that I have recently joined the Board of Banyan Community, a non-profit rooted in the Phillips Neighborhood that helps transform lives by developing youth, strengthening families, and creating community.
Small Problems Ignored Become Very Large Problems
It’s yet another February, and that means it’s time to break out the clichés – love is in the air! No, this isn’t a schmaltzy essay about how “the business is like a couple in love” or some other stretch of the imagination. However, with hearts everywhere, and displays of love and gratitude on the minds of most, it does make sense to examine the cornerstone of a successful family business—a loving, supportive, and healthy family unit.
Family business counselor Tom Hubler started out working with disadvantaged kids (Originally Posted By Star Tribune)
He has spent nearly 40 years counseling family-owned businesses, including in a 2018 book, "The Soul of Family Business."
By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune
Tom Hubler was a working-class kid from Selby-Dale neighborhood in St. Paul in the 1950s who worked with disadvantaged children and families early in his career. He has spent nearly 40 years counseling family-owned businesses. His 2018 book, “The Soul of Family Business,” addresses typical issues and “provides readers with the tools and insights to build the emotional equity of their family, while simultaneously building the equity of their company.” That includes creating strategies to ensure personal and business success, “and wealth preparation planning to ensure that family values emphasize a family culture of gratitude, philanthropy and living purposeful lives.” This piece was edited from written remarks and a telephone interview.
Take this risk-free first step in ensuring the continued success of your family business now. There is no charge for the orientation meeting other than out-of-pocket expenses for travel.
Does your family business need help with succession planning, conflict resolution, management or other issues? If so, we'll arrange a one-on-one orientation meeting with you and Tom Hubler to help you explore the possibilities of working with us. If you choose, your family and business associates can also attend. Here, in a relaxed environment, you can talk about:
Hubler for Business Families helps family businesses manage the boundary between their business/financial concerns and family relationships.
Hubler for Business Families and Platinum Group are merging to meet the unique challenges of family owned businesses.
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