One Business… Two Leaders?
What I came across is ALARMING.
In last few weeks I personally met number of business owners with one common situation; Multiple Decision Makers in Business. Highest occurrence was the Father-Son combination, followed by 2-Partner Friends and then a Husband-Wife driven business.
As a business coach, I could clearly see how the potential of their businesses was suppressed, if not killed…. because of this seemingly normal situation.
The best word I could think of for describing the situation of their businesses is ‘DRIFTING’ and the worst part is that they aren’t aware of it and the extent of damage it is causing to their business and even their relationships.
Most of these partners DO NOT have disputes or arguments and they are ‘nice’ to each other. They are careful and not forcing their vision onto others. They maintain the ‘status quo’ and respect the ‘line of control’. All this for maintaining relationships….. Yes. That’s important, I agree. However in some cases, partners argue & fight very frequently to convince the other person of why their priority (or idea, style, logic, argument) is the right one and how the other person is wrong, resulting in frequent exchange of emotional outbursts. In both these scenarios, decision and action is a remote possibility.
Let’s look at what is happening to their business.
There is no direction to business. The team gets confusing signals. There are no documented goals or a clear action plan and the reason is; they neither want to openly oppose / challenge each other’s ideas, nor want to support / commit to it whole heartedly.
Most frequently adopted amicable approach in such case is ‘Let the business run as it is’. No major changes. No strategic thinking and planning. No new things to try out. In short… maintain the Status Quo.
This status quo is then reflected in the business performance; stagnated revenues, dull environment, lack of accountability, disengaged team, delayed decisions, no growth or negative growth and hence reducing profits. Business just reacts to the environment as there is no proactive approach and faces every day as it comes. You are the effect, not the cause. You are then a victim of recession, competition, customer’s policies, politics and any other excuses you may think of. Business drifts randomly, as there is no direction set, there is no fuel to move the ship towards the destination… There is no destination..!
Imagine a soccer team of best players not playing to win against the opponent team but they are struggling to coordinate and get cooperation from own team members and have no game plan to win the game. What a waste of their potential….!
Older generation feels they have struggled a lot to start and build the business and doesn’t want to let go of the control. Younger generation feels restrained to work in the new era with old style. There are numerous such differences in perceptions, working styles, ideas, values, beliefs, environments, opinions which sucks out the energy of all stake holders.
A family business which is not doing well, often becomes a cause of relationship issues in the family. The very purpose of maintaining the relations by being nice to each other gets completely defeated eventually and at times the damage is beyond repairs.
Is there a way out?
Yes. There is a way out and its unbelievably simple.
Way out is having open and candid communications, frequently. It may be hard to get everyone to participate but once you do it, you will see amazing benefits. Key point here is to get an unbiased outsider to facilitate the discussion as it is impossible to keep emotions away in a discussion between family members or partners.
We create a platform for such business stake holders through Alignment Sessions wherein they have open and clear discussion about Vision, Business Goals, Exit strategy, Succession planning, Overlapping areas of operation and other points of discomfort.
It is immensely satisfying for me to see that the invisible walls and ceilings break effortlessly and a new positive energy flows in the business when all stake holders are aligned towards the same goal.
If you know anyone drifting in this boat, ask them to get aligned now. Write to me
You can also build a business that runs on auto pilot to support the exit strategy. This is neither a magic trick, nor an overnight transformation.
There is a proven step by step framework to achieve this. Want to learn the framework?
The tips we share are a small part of what we do at our coaching sessions.
If you’d like to take the whole framework and install in your business, then do drop an email at [email protected] with subject line as “Scale Session” and we’ll reach out to you with all the details quickly.