Family Business, Non-Family Business, Urban Myths.

March 5th, 2021 by dayat No comments »

After 20 years of working with Senior Executives across the world it’s interesting to see the mistakes when appointing Senior Executives. There can be many reasons why, but one reason is not understanding the differences of working in a Family Business and a Non-Family Business. I’ve recently met several Senior Executives who are unhappy with their employment because of this lack of knowledge and understanding and I’m meeting Business owners who didn’t realise there was a difference. These Business Owners feel that money and title is enough and stick to the Mantra of “Surely experienced ‘C’ level Executives can work in any company?”

Due to the change of economy, I have become more involved with assisting Family Businesses rather than just the corporates in finding ‘C’ level people. To do this successfully I believe that everyone in the process of hiring Senior Executives must understand the differences that separate the two entities. Having worked for an English and Indian Family Business in a past life this has helped me at first hand to see the ups and downs of these Businesses; this with a theoretical base has helped with running my own companies or advising others with theirs.

One recent company I have been involved with was run and founded by a successful New Zealand Entrepreneur. He does not have anybody in his immediate family to hand the reins over to. He has tried (outside the family) executives to fill his ‘C’ level roles and has had three people in three years! What is the problem? Was this a real Family Business? Was the Problem his, or the Executives?

We discussed the reasons for the failures but in terms of assisting the owner I got him to firstly look at where his people came from. All three had been ‘C’ level people in corporates and had done an excellent job in their corporate environment. They all returned to corporate life and continued to do well in their new roles. Why did they fail then in this successful company?

What I needed the owner to do was to identify a “Family Business”. I don’t normally use dictionary definitions but feel that in this instance Wikipedia gives a satisfactory explanation of a Family Business;

“A commercial organization in which decision-making is influenced by multiple generations of a family-related by blood or marriage-who are closely identified with the firm through leadership or ownership. Owner-manager entrepreneurial firms are not considered to be family businesses because they lack the multigenerational dimension and family influence that create the unique dynamics and relationships of family businesses” Wikipedia 2014.

We looked at his company and although he didn’t have anyone in the immediate family to take over the reins he had people who owned the company in minor leadership roles. We both agreed he did in fact have a Family Business.

He thought that buying in top salaried ‘C’ level Executives from corporates would enhance growth and sustain his business. He had not seen any differences between Family and Non-Family Business.

Urban Myths for Family Businesses;

All are unstable Small to Midsize businesses’.
As an Executive I don’t want to baby sit the junior family members so they can take over my job.
A non-family member will never run the company.
Mother and Father Companies, the only people that matter in the company are family members.
Emotional hard to work places due to family disagreements/arguments.
Incompetent family members in positions of authority.
Are these statements true or are they just Urban Myths?

Family businesses are one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy and now merit serious consideration by Senior Executives looking to advance their careers. This is an amazing turnaround from 25 years ago when nobody wanted to work for a family-owned business. There now seem to be many positives;

Patricia Epperlein from InterSearch reports that;

In the USA, 90% of businesses are family-owned. They contribute towards 40% of that nation’s GNP and pay approximately half of its total wages.

59% of France’s Top-500 industrial companies are family-owned.

It is estimated that 70% to 85% of all businesses worldwide are family-owned.

Tom O’Neil NZ Herald. Jan 2014 states;

Small to medium businesses are the lifeblood of New Zealand industry. Various sources cite family businesses as representing 75 per cent of Kiwi firms, providing up to 80 per cent of employment and 65 per cent of national GDP.

It’s interesting to note that when companies around the world state that they are a “Family Business” they are trying to reinforce positive family values of, Integrity, honesty, trust and loyalty.

Not all Family Businesses’ are SMEs. Companies like;

Tata Group.
In New Zealand the Talley Family (Agribusiness) and the Pandey family (Hotels).
Simon Peacocke of BDO Auckland, an accredited Family Business Advisor works with numerous NZ Family Businesses and feels that they do well because of the following reasons;

Family businesses think very long-term and are very resilient, much more so than non-family businesses.

Second and third generation family business members start their apprenticeship at a very young age. At 5 years old they are hearing their parents talking about the business so they have an incredible depth of knowledge to draw on.

Their relationships with staff and communities also tend to be different – closer, more connected, more loyal.

Staff tend to become part of the family business and to stay on as long-term committed employees.

While corporates like to be seen supporting their communities, family businesses generally don’t promote they are doing this – they just do it.

They don’t throw lots of money at things trying to get rich quick.

They also have a powerful focus on building relationships with staff, customers and suppliers.

So is it worth working for a family company? Is it better to work for a Non-Family Business? Is there any difference when the economy is good or is in a slump?

Nicolas Kachaner 2012 in the Harvard Business Review states,

“Results show that during good economic times, family-run companies don’t earn as much money as companies with a more dispersed ownership structure. But when the economy slumps, family firms far outshine their peers. And when we looked across business cycles from 1997 to 2009, we found that the average long-term financial performance was higher for family businesses than for non-family businesses in every country we examined”.

Senior Executives looking for longevity in the work place should look at the Family Business as this would take them through economies varying peaks and troughs. They will need to be aware that this will always be done in a cost effective way.

Business Consultants believe that they can tell easily if the company is Family or Non-Family Business. You just walk into the Head Office. A Non-family office has a very substantial corporate office with a “Wow Factor”. The Family business being more Frugal has very few “Bells and Whistles”. This Frugality is about the Family Business CEO looking to invest in the long term 20 year plan with the business passing down the generations. The Non-Family CEO is looking to make an instant mark and will try and outperform the person they have taken over from. There are many studies that show that Family Businesses did better in the recent Global recession for the above reason. The Family Business is frugal in the good times and the bad allowing them to weather the storms of economic crisis.

This is one of the factors that had been wrong in my client with three ‘C’ Level people in three years. His ‘C’ level people came in with a quick turnaround plan which they hoped would give a quick fix and outspending the last person in the hope that they would do something instantly. No twenty year plan for them as they had never been afforded this way of working in the past.

Do Family Businesses perform differently in other countries?

Justin Craig, PhD states,

“Interestingly, in many aspects family businesses as a sector do not vary much from country to country. There are obvious cultural differences but a business with family involvement is challenging in every country. It is also more rewarding than the ‘corporates’, let’s not forget that. Of course, there are older businesses in Europe, for example, than in Australia and New Zealand and the United States, and the mind-sets of companies in Europe will differ than in the later developed countries. But day to day the differences are not noticeable. Older businesses have more at stake and lots more to lose but they also have advantages. Family leaders still have to manage three independent and interdependent systems being the family, the business and the ownership group”.

Appointing the right Senior Executives is crucial to any company and is a costly acquisition. There are many reasons why hiring at this level goes wrong but getting it right can make a huge difference to your company.

To answer one of my questions, can a ‘C’ Level person work in any type of Business, Family or Non-Family?

Yes, but only if they are armed with the knowledge of the differences of the two. What they must also be sure of is the type of business that they are going to work in as sometimes this can be a cloudy issue, making it difficult for them to decide which one it is. Look at those mighty corporate companies of Porsche, Tata and Walmart to name a few.

Finding the right ‘C’ Level Executive is a lengthy process and shouldn’t be rushed, if you need to rush you are better to go down the Executive Leasing Route in the short term which will allow you to take a breath and get the right permanent person in place. Work with your inside team or your outside partners to establish a good process, so the firm can articulate the process to the Senior Executives. Everyone appreciates the fact that there is a well thought-out plan in place.

For me, I decided a long time ago not to build a Family Business. I wanted to give my children the best in life, but wanted them to make their own way in life too. My children might disagree but as one is studying to be a Barrister and one is settled in a corporate I will wait and see if I need to step in? I have however, always agreed with Billionaire Inves

Family: Given As a Blessing Not a Curse

March 5th, 2021 by dayat No comments »

“What does your family mean to you?,” a child was once asked.

“Nothing,” she replied. “Mine was so extremely dysfunctional. My father is always drunk, my mother always beat kids. My brothers and sisters already got out of the house and I do not know what they are already doing and where they are. It(Family) is just something that I wish for that I know I will never have.”

A HAPPY FAMILY. Are you also one of the people who are in a quest for this?

Filipino family ties during the early years are superior examples of in high spirit, nurtured families. Other countries would envy how we do things all together — dine, go to church, watch a movie, shopping, go in an, how the whole family would go together to the airport when a family member arrives, how parents are very much supportive to their children’s concerns and a lot more. But now, for many, that was just BEFORE. Before when families are still given much time, attention and care.

Many Filipino families nowadays still carry out the picture of the healthy family like we used to have before. But as of these days also, reality speaks that the country whom many people envied of its close family ties already brought into being a high number of broken homes and unwanted families.

My imagination pictures a scenario where I am walking on the street one day and I meet a child wiping his tears.

“Why are you crying?”


“Are you lost? Where are you from?”

“No. I live there by the nearby kanto where people would always hear the loud cries of children, where father and mother always let plates, saucers and our things at home fly.”

“Huh? Why? Who is your father by the way?”

“I do not know. When father enters our house drank, expect a plate to fly again. My mother use to name him ‘Bitch’ and I call him the same. I have no idea of his real name rather. And I do not care. Our house is like just a hell of ‘bitches’ and ‘demons’ as they call each other there.”

“What about your mother’s name? Maybe I know her and I can talk to her.”

“Never mind. My father calls her ‘Crazy’ and I call her the same.”

“Ah. So where are you going then?”

“I’ll go find my friends. I will invite them to have some cigarette and liquor to somewhat forget this feelings for a while.”

As a Filipino, would I feel great? As years outdo, instead of family ties becoming firmer and firmer, relationship between family members came to be weaker and weaker.

Have you tried having a look to some old photos of your parents during their graduation days? They may not graduated with flying honors but can you notice on the pictures the presence of all siblings, parents and some relatives during that special day? Probably, you would. But in our present-day generation, you can even witness an honored student in tears while receiving her medals, ribbons, and certificates with just his great grandmother with him who could hardly walk already.

Currently, youth would enjoy dropping out of school, joining fraternity groups, being engaged in premarital sex and some are now officially called “batang ina” or “batang ama”. As a matter of fact, in the Philippines, 1 out of 3 aged 15-24 years old youth have involved themselves in premarital sex and 14 percent of girls aged 15-19 are already a mother. WHAT A WORRISOME NUMBER!

Researchers, with all their bests provided us all the reasons and causes why these things are being enjoyed by youth in order for solutions or preventions to be made. Peer pressure, lack of self-esteem, fear of rejection and many more came out – almost all pointing the blame to each child’s FAMILY.

Many would define the word FAMILY as the circle where they started to have Fears; for others, it is a dwelling where Anger reigns; it is also where others experienced being Maltreated; it is the circle where others feel Insecure to be with; for some it is something they never Long to be with anymore because of the experiences they had, and for others it is like hell where they always hear shouts and Yells.

On other family cases, my heart would cry for a friend who tries to live life with the best she can but inside her, she’s in a journey of looking for a father she has never seen since birth; for a friend who would embrace me with tears saying,”it would even be easier for me to know he’s dead than to see her happily living with that monster.”; a friend who dropped out of school after his father took away all their earnings and slept with another woman; and a friend who cries every time she whispers her birthday wish to have their complete family back again.

Is this already the face of the family that God, with great love had given to men? A place where many cannot feel the things that they are supposed to. As the years would go, will children try their bests to define FAMILY in the most negative way they can? This is not God’s idea for families!

Youth, we are the hope of our nation. In the years to come we should not let families become worse and worse. We can no more bring those days when our country is being envied of the close family ties. But we can do it again!

God designed the family as the smallest unit in the society. Yes, the smallest yet with the greatest purpose- for parents to mold the children’s values and attitudes, to help them start dreaming and to give them very positive outlooks in life. He conceived it as the heart of the society, church and nation. The well-being of a society, success of a church and prosperity of a nation all rest on the family influences. He created family ties to be the closest, most tender and sacred on earth because He wants to bind the life of the nation with love.

Everyone has a family. Even the animals have. Many would say they do not have because they do not let themselves be called a part of the family they belong to since they do not want to be embarrassed. We may not be enjoying the family where we belong right now but we can never do otherwise, we cannot chose.

To those who are very much enjoying the company of a happy family, God is so happy watching over you. But! you will not be allowed forever to be hidden under the wings of your parents. God wants you to have your own family in the right time too.

And for you who, until now are still longing for a successful family which will be the complete opposite of the never-been-happy family they have at present, your dreams are all dependent in your hands.

The desired family we are all aiming for all starts with the most careful, most wise and Godly decisions.

As a young lady, who am I not to dream for my own happy, healthy and nurtured family in the future too? But the family, actually, does not excite me. What excites me most is when I would walk along the isle as a 777 bride between the golden-colored, sweet scented flowers along a very peaceful, solemn church wedding.

Like any other women, I am really much motivated for this great event since I thought it would be where the happy ever after and the happy family would get underway. But unfortunately, I was wrong.

A happy ever after all begins with what you are now – how you make decisions in life today pictures what you are going to have in the future. Do not daydream too much of the wedding. Have a high standard of goal with the family you are going to have. Because with these childish daydreaming for extravagant weddings, I tell you, many were married but are mismatched.

Be cautious! How you handle things today is what you will become tomorrow.

Reality check in today’s courtship practices, are they all approved in Christ’s standard? Gone are those days when suitors are obliged to meet the parents first. Welcome to the generation where young ladies and gentlemen meet in secrets and do things in secrets without the knowing of their parents.

Ellen G. White strongly reminds us that we should not trust too much to impulse. Remember, love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion. On the contrary, it is calm and deep in its nature, it is wise and discriminating, its devotion is real and abiding and is a pure and holy – a high and noble principle.

Great care should be taken in the formation of friendships and in the choice of companions. We should weigh every sentiment and watch every development of character in the one with whom we would like to link our destiny. Let our minds dwell upon spiritual subjects. Give ourselves constant vigilant self-instructions.

Sitting up late, on the other hand at night is customary; but it is not pleasing even if we are both Christians. These untimely hours injure health and have an appearance of evil.

” Satan knows what elements he has to deal with and he displays his internal wisdom in various devices to entrap humans to ruins,” Mrs. White wrote.

“A young man,” she added, “who enjoys the society and friendship of a young lady unknown to her parents does not act a noble Christian part toward her and toward her parents. Through secret communications and meetings, he may gain an influence over her mind but in doing so, he fails to manifest that nobility and which every child of God will possess.Thou shalt not steal was written by the finger of God on the tables of stone yet how much underhand stealing of affection is being practiced today?”

Be wary!!! We know not how a 16-year-old mother dealt with her early pregnancy plus her parents’ reaction with it plus the murmurs around and how she would deal with the family she is going to have that she never liked and dream of. Do we still want to bear the same feelings as she did?

Choosing a life partner stage, when taken unwisely is the most effective means of destroying the youthfulness and the supposed-to-be very bright future of us.

As a woman, before uttering the words “I do” try to consider the characteristics of the man first. Is his life pure? Can you find true peace in his affection? Has he the traits that will make you happy? Is God the foundation of his life?

And as a man, consider some things too about the woman you are deeply in love with. Will she bring happiness to your home? Will she be patient and painstaking? Will she take your parents as her own too? Does she have God in her life?

“No one can effectually ruin a woman’s happiness and usefulness and make life a heart sickening burden as her own husband and no one can do one hundredth part as much to chill the hopes and aspirations of a man, to paralyze his energies and ruin his influence and prospects as his own wife,” White explains in her book Growing a Happy Home.

Take heed! A little time spent in sowing wild oats will produce a crop that will embitter a whole life. And an hour of thoughtlessness may turn the whole current of life in the wrong direction.

Excited with your wedding? Have you prayed hard for the BEST partner? Again, with the most careful, most wise and Godly decisions are where a happy family begins.

The next important factor towards building a happy family is knowing the great responsibilities laid on your shoulders as parents. Family was not given by the Lord to become a trial and error for the people who wants to find genuine happiness and the real meaning of their lives. Family is a sacred tie that needs to be well and carefully planned by the parents to whom God has placed the greatest responsibilities in a family.

Therefore, before getting into this, both the lady and the gentleman should know the obligations God wants them to perform not only as a husband and wife but also as a mother and a father.

Firstly, to the future wives and mothers. Your primary role is often seen as providing a home first for your husband. In addition, Colossians 3:18 clearly states that ” Wives, submit to your husbands, as it is fitting in the Lord.” Submission means a lot of things- to love your husband in words and in deeds, to be willing to be a part of him and to do only good to him. Serve him when he comes home from work, pray for him every time you would pray for yourself, be open to him and be willing to take your in-laws as your own parents too.

Another big charge to a wife is becoming a mother – to provide the safe and secure environment in which your children can grow and flourish, develop their personalities and talents to move out into the world where they proceed to blossom into being their own person.

Mrs. White expressed, “many ladies, accounted and well-educated are shamefully ignorant of the practical duties of life.” Therefore, a lady, before getting married should have a thorough knowledge of the household duties as a wife and a mother. Your beauty and talents have nothing to do with your family life that much rather than playing the simple, practical duties daily for your family. Who cares if you can graciously play the piano but cannot cook for the family? We should never forget the very common saying that personally comes out from our mouths — “IDLENESS IS A SIN.”

Not only that, a mother’s onus also is to protect her children from sickness and while a child is sick, she takes good care until her child’s condition gets back to normal. Being a mother is not being just dependent on hospitals when sicknesses arise. Make your own home a natural treating place for those family members who needs it. That is why, you should ensure and offer good nutrition and proper hygiene to your children.

Sometimes, with these simple, little things come troubles in a family. A husband going away because he has given up doing almost all the household chores daily after coming home from work while the wife just taking care of their child spent her whole day if not in the salon, she’s in the mall spending all his husband’s wages.

Parents are called the “first teachers”. From the very childhood of a child, parents, most specially mothers are to ensure the development of sense of morality. Mothers should have the patience, love and hard work to educate their children well before sending them out to schools.

A mother, on the other hand can also help provide for a family but it is not your responsibility. Yours is to grow with your kids. You must be flexible. You must know that in a family, all behavior is a form of communication and you should have a thorough knowledge how to react in them. Everybody communicates through it like for example an infant may cry when she is hungry or wet, just like an adult may yawn when he is bored at work.

A mother should have the motto of “family first before myself” and an attitude of being mindful, productive and motivated to make her family to the best it can be.

Reminder, there are families whose happiness is wrecked by the inefficiency of the mother. Mothers are being distinguished as the “lights” of the home, then mothers should have the Godly characteristics that would lead their children to the right path.

And for the future husband and the fathers, your greatest role as a husband is clearly stated in Ephesians 5:28 saying that you should love your wives as you love yourselves. Love to wife is not only showed but should also be said. Literally, many can only tell their love for their wives during sexual intercourse. Excuse me, do not make your wives as merely as a sex object.1 Peter 3:7 says you should honor your wives because they have given up their names to take yours.

One more big obligation is that you should be the financer. Marriage is a financial venture and to husbands were given the responsibility to finance, support and provide for his family. The wife can help too but it is not her responsibility. As a husband, your earnings should not be just for your own. No man is excusable for this!

And lastly, it is clearly read in Ephesians 6:4. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Yes! Fathers should be active in the area of the discipline and rearing of children not teaching them how to speak bad words, how to hold a gun, kick a playmate, how to drink liquor and how to hold cigarettes.

Look out! Like we were before, children nowadays are also copy cats. Before preaching, make sure you are not yet caught doing that thing you are talking about. You should see their development by the way you live and the direction in which you lead your family. Fathers were given the crown as the head of the family. Assume leadership at home but not dictatorial. Open criticism can be a big help to a family. But not because you were given the authority, do not make criticism so severe in the family. Do not make rules that are too rigid either, this will just lead to the disregard of all your regulations.

In a family, selfishness is not obligatory. That is why communication plays a big role. As parents, you should be matured enough to be open in communication because this is the key in all successful relationships. Not just in marriage or with children but with parents, siblings, in-laws and extended family.

Instances where family refuses to speak to or acknowledge other family members is ridiculous. Families need to talk, to work things out, to try to make things better. Family members doing hurtful things to one another, deciding not to love someone or be around someone for their decisions is not only rude and hateful, but against everything Christian-like. Talk to your family members. Tell them how you feel or find out what is truly going on. Make an effort to work things out. Make an effort to understand. Don’t always assume you know.

Time is another important cog. Once you already have your own family, you should never cry for your mother’s daily care and presence anymore. Gone are those days when you can have party with friends and go anywhere you want anytime you want to. Gone are those days already when you are still the child. You are now a playing a very rigid yet enjoyable parent role. Attending parties and gimics are never forbidden to parents anyway as long as you know your limits.

A writer once said: “”it is the cry of many parents that they have no time for their children. Then they should not have taken upon themselves the responsibility of a family yet. By withholding from them the time which is justly theirs, they rob them of the education which children should have at their hands. If they have children, they have a work to do in the formation of their characters. They should never, never neglect their children. They should let nothing interpose between them and the best interests of their children.”

Dinner time can be one of the best family moments together. Research have shown that not only do families develop a stronger family identity, families who eat dinner together regularly can also keep in touch with each others’ lives, a regular family dinnertime provides natural opportunities for planning and problem solving and in a variety of conversation topics, learning is encouraged.

These are only some of the basics and the paragon of what God wants the family to be. A place of love, comfort, contentment and happiness. For sure, a question like “how can these be possible?” would rise.

Simple. Your question can be answered by a children’s song: “with Jesus in the family, happy, happy home.” But then, again, what if we now we still do not have God in our lives?

On our shoulders as youth were laid the responsibilities to make the future brighter. God designed family for joy, satisfaction and security.

We only pass this way but once. We should then make the best out of everything we do. We were put to earth to prepare for the heavenly kingdom that was being prepared for us. And God would like us to make every family a little heaven on earth as a representation of the group we are going to bring in heaven.