Lots of Angles Available for This Question

This week we’re staying in the same general territory as we explored last week in The Doing / Being Connection, while zeroing in on some of the various aspects of the “being” side of things.

Astute readers will recognize that the exact same game we’ll be playing could then be replayed using the “doing” side of things too.

(To receive extra credit for that, make sure to get your report in before the end of the semester.)

As usual I’ll share the genesis for this post, which once again came from a coaching call I had recently. I was the “coachee”, in this case, and Melissa, my long-time coach, was on the other end of the Zoom call.

The true spark actually came about 10 minutes before our session, as I jotted down some notes about what I wanted to tackle during our time together.

Coaches love it when our clients come prepared with a subject that’s top of mind.

Still in “Role Mode”

I was just coming off writing My “Role / Goal / Control” Life Hack and so the “role” part was on my front burner.

I had some ideas to share and explore with her; here’s what I wrote:

  •  Who AM I Being?    
  •  Who CAN I Be?
  •  Who Do I WANT to Be?
  •  Who Do I NEED to BE?

We spent the hour meandering around these questions, and without too much surprise, we didn’t resolve much of any significant importance for the short run.

We did, however, consider all these angles in ways I hadn’t anticipated.

An Objective, Non-Judgemental Listener

If you’ve never worked with a coach, you need to know how liberating it is to speak with someone who has no other agenda than to be there with you.

If they know what they’re doing, they’ll be objective and listen to you without judging you, and give you some new perspectives.

They’ll probably ask you a lot of questions that will make you think about subjects that you will then reflect upon between sessions.

So just how does this fit into the world of family enterprise?

I’m glad you asked.

Finding Who You Are in the FamBiz


You may have seen this coming, but considering and reflecting on who you ARE in your family, and then contrasting that with who you CAN be, just might be a worthwhile exercise.

Likewise, if you consider such ideas as who you WANT to be in your business, and then rethink these thoughts in light of who you NEED to be, those discussions with a good coach will also be ripe terrain for some useful insights.

Imagine now what could be accomplished if a few members of the family undertook some regular work on considering such important matters.

Who Actually Does This Stuff?

Of course this isn’t the kind of stuff that the average person who is part of a family business does.

But then again, I’m sure that the people who read my blogs regularly are not average, and neither are the professionals who serve them, and many also read my musings.

When you get right down to it, most people who read my stuff will probably nod their heads at times and agree that what I say makes sense, perhaps “in theory”, but it probably isn’t right for them, “in practice”.

But that’s where I wanna say “Whoa, hang on there!”

Looking at Successful Examples as Models

If you know anything about successful family enterprises that have lasted at least a few generations, you’ll know that they got that way by doing things that the average ones just didn’t do.

You’ll also know that very few of them got that way without any outside resources, guiding them at important times along the way.

It will take work, it will take effort and intention, and it will take years.

See: Contrasting Transition Timelines: 15 Minutes or 10 Years

There are now way more resources available to all such families, and some of them will do the work and succeed.  Others may try and give up, and some will have a modicum of success for a while despite a lack of consistent effort.

Leadership Is the Key

In the end, it all comes down to leadership, which of course requires some courage.

The courage to start, and the courage to ask for help.

What CAN your family be?

Who do you NEED to be to make that happen?

Bonus: What are you going to DO about it?