Many people throughout history have worn both the “family-business-leader” hat and the “parent” hat simultaneously.

A certain percentage of them have excelled in both roles, some have been much better at one than the other, and still others never really mastered either.

Of course there are plenty of areas where the things one does in one area will undoubtedly have an effect on the other, because it is virtually impossible to separate the roles completely.

And just as I noted above, where some people excel at both, others at neither, and many at one at the expense of the other, the same can be said about certain actions that one takes while playing these roles.

There are many trade-offs where it seems clear that working late and missing your kid’s soccer game is a plus for the business and a minus for the family, or the reverse is true if you leave early to make it to the game but don’t finish that important order.

I like to think that the best thing that I can do as a family business advisor is to point out the situations that are in fact a lose/lose, and help families avoid them, and also point out the possible win/win situations, and help families exploit those.

It sounds simple when put that way, but simple and easy are NOT synonyms.

Interestingly, the two examples of the lose/lose variety that arise most often are opposite sides of the same coin, and they have to do with how we treat our kids and value their input.

On the one hand, there are lots of examples of parents who spoil their children with easy, high-paying jobs, with low expectations of performance. This is not great business leadership, nor is it great parenting.

The other side of that coin also occurs rather frequently, and it looks like this: The kids work really hard, are underpaid, are ready to take over the business, but they are never given the reins, because the parents are not ready to let go. Once again, the business suffers, and so does the family.

It all comes down to finding the correct balance, just like Goldilocks. We don’t want the porridge that is too hot because it will burn our tongue, and the cold porridge is just, well, yucky.

So what is the secret to finding that balance? Part of it is simply recognizing that you are playing both the role of the parent and of the family business leader. But that clearly isn’t enough, because as we just saw, you can actually screw up on both simultaneously.

Besides recognizing that you are playing two roles, it is important to think about your perspective, and to compare and contrast that perspective in two major ways.

First, look at the way you are acting in the two roles from a TIME perspective, and think back to when you were the age that your children are at now, and how you were treated and would have wanted to be treated.

Then look ahead to when your children will be at the age you are at now, and consider your relationship with your parents. If that is too extreme, think back ten years, and then ten years ahead.

After doing the time perspective exercise, simply take a moment to reflect on how you see things, and imagine how the other family members see things from their point of view, today. I will guarantee that if you ask them if they see things the same way that you do, you will be in for at least one or two surprises.

The key word in that last sentence is “if”, as in “if you ask them”. In my experience, few family business leaders will actually take the time to ask their children how they see things.

Yes, I know that you are the one running the show, and all your hard work is what got you here. Congratulations.

But do you have the courage to ask your children how they see things? You may be surprised with what you learn.