Conflict and the Family Business
I have watched, been involved with and consulted for, many family businesses. This gives me “pseudo expert” status in this niche. It also means I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly—and family businesses possess all three. The printing industry is one where family members, as a general rule, are involved in a large number of the companies. So what does this mean to us in terms of conflict?
The way family members behave at work is oftentimes a carryover from their interpersonal family relationships. I have seen some of the funniest, craziest and perplexing stuff in family business communications at the workplace. First, however, let me stress that I have a passion for working with family businesses and many of our clients are family-run printing establishments. In addition, let us never forget that family businesses are quite complex. And, in some cases, although the non-family members would not believe this, they are actually more difficult to work at as a family member.
One of the consistent conflict areas I witness is the great difference in opinion between the various generations in regard to where the printing company should be headed. In other words, there is frustration (conflict) between the first, second or third (etc.) generations because they are not on the same page. Why? Because various generations are looking at things from different vantage points/ages, etc. The key is to get everyone to look at things from the others’ perspectives.
Our world has changed forever with the rapid manner that all communication takes place. In fact, I will be addressing this topic in my second book, which I began writing last week. More to come on that. So here a few common family printing business questions to consider. Which sibling of the upcoming generation will oversee what function? Who has ownership of what or final say of what? Just because a person is a family member, do they automatically get to have a high salary, title and responsibility? How does the current generation running the company plan to let go and transition the new generation into the mix? Do they even want to?
Ryan T. Sauers has spent nearly 30 years running, leading or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications-related organizations. Sauers is CEO of two companies, Sauers Consulting Strategies LLC and End Resultz Inc. that among other things, owns magazines and is a media firm. Key areas of focus of the firms include sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs globally and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in the U.S. to achieve all three rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality and behavior).
Sauers has completed his doctoral-level coursework in Organizational Leadership and is now (ABD - All But Dissertation) working on his dissertation on why some entrepreneurs and small businesses achieve initial and long-term success, whereas countless others do not.
Sauers is the host of the Marketing Matters radio show in Atlanta that later becomes a global podcast. He also is the host of the Community Connections TV show that comes out in video and podcast form. Sauers is the author of the best-selling books, Everyone is in Sales, and Would You Buy from You? More info at RyanSauers.com or call (678) 825-2049 or email Ryan@RyanSauers.com