Ducks_130903Family businesses are the back-bone of small businesses in the United States.   They comprise 80 to 90 percent of all businesses, and they face many heartbreaking issues, like divorce, succession planning, turf battles, and “why can’t you be more like your brother?” arguments. Chances are you are involved in a family business…or work for one.

So, when you head for the couch after a long day of family business drama, click on the TV.  There you’ll find two families feuding for top ratings, led by Willie Roberston, the Duck Commander and Momager Kris Jenner, head of the Kardashian Klan.  What can they teach us about what to do – and not do! – if you want to work together and still get invited to Sunday dinner?  While not overly proud of my viewing choices, here’s what I’m inspired to share from Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Duck Dynasty

There has to be an “In Charge”…and it doesn’t have to be Dad.  There is only room for one person at the top.   And it doesn’t have to be the oldest family member or a man.  Kris Jenner rules at home and in the multi-faceted Kardashian empire.  Her kids’ behaviors are shocking, even to jaded me.  However, I give it up to Kris for taking the lead.  While Phil Robertson is the clear head of family, there is no question of authority with Willie as the Duck Commander in Chief of the business.  Nice generational transition!

Your business should serve your life…not the other way around.  We are allowed, obligated, to live our best life according to our own compass.  Sometimes that lines up with the family business.  It’s OK when it doesn’t.  Momager Kris often steam-rolls the kids in the spirit of “helping,” and reminds me that sometimes Momma doesn’t know best. Did you know that Uncle Si Robertson is married?  She stays out of the limelight and the business.  You get to choose.

Family is thicker than business.  Duck calls?  Looking cool at movie premiers?  Those are just the products and services.  Phil Robertson says people are intrigued with Duck Dynasty because the traditional American family may be going by the wayside.  We don’t spend enough time together. Their show presents family in a positive light and getting along…at work and at home. The Kardashians…well, I am not sure what their family values are.  However, they seem to love each other and stick together through thick and thin.  Bottom line:  Businesses come and go but family endures.

Enough with the phones.  Talk to each other!  Note how often the Kardashian Klan is engaged with their phones.  You have to have some cell free time to interact with each other.  I cheered out loud when Phil Robertson pitched a grandkid’s phone into the bayou.  Communication is key to a strong family and business dynamic.  Establish regular meetings to clarify the vision, the mission and agree upon aligned actions.

Are you ready for Primetime?   Perhaps your family business needs a mid-season refresh?  A business plan can help get you all on the same page.  Let the Robertsons and Duck Commander inspire you.  Leave the  drama of the Kardashians behind.

Spend some time together putting your family business plan together.  Craft your mission.  Establish goals.  Formalize the Organizational Chart.  Review the Financials.  Focus sales and marketing efforts.  Line up and delegate the Top Projects. Sound easy?  It can be.

Business planning is best when you keep it simple and focused.  The simpler you make it…the better the plan, and the better the business.  The better the business, the more opportunities for your expanding family.  The danger comes when we get bogged down in inertia and mired in past “beefs,” like, “Miss Kay always liked you best.”

Sometimes you need a non-family member to present ideas and play referee.  I am happy to do that for you.  Happy Happy Happy!  Join me for our next super-popular Online Workshop: “How To Fire Mom – Fixing The Family Business.”    Here’s the agenda…

Fixing the Family Business!  The worst businesses are family businesses.  And the BEST businesses are family businesses.  Don’t despair.  Let’s fix it!

  • When you say, we don’t have enough money, he hears _____ ___ ____ _______.
  • Flags!  How to celebrate and capitalize on what’s different about each of you.
  • What about the Money Money Money?  Making enough for geometric growth.
  • The Org Chart.  There is room for more than one “cheese” IF…
  • The Meat Eater!  Can you pay her to stay home?
  • “Make me!”  Putting teeth in the ultimatum.
  • The Law of the Farm.  ESSENTIAL for the next generation.
  • Who goes…you or Mom?  And, will you still get asked to Sunday dinner?