by Chris Eckrich & Steve McClure
A key non family executive once shared that he could help the owning family make a lot of money or grow their business if they would just tell him what they wanted him to do for them. Conversely, we at times hear from thoughtful family business owners that they very much appreciate their non family leaders, and need their help to achieve company goals. Ironically, it is not uncommon to hear both of these sentiments shared by owners and non family leaders from the same business.
Business owning families can help by exploring several key questions with their most cherished non family managers, such as:
1. What do our key non family leaders believe are the family’s goals and objectives?
2. What can non family management do to help our family achieve excellence as family business owners?
3. How will we let our key non family leaders know that we appreciate their efforts and commitment?
4. Are key non family leaders able to accurately report how they are appreciated by the family?
While some of us have clear answers to the above, the inability to answer these offers an opportunity for ownership to gain clarity and implement plans to communicate and gain alignment with key personnel.