A few months ago a friend’s dad passed away.
He was a talented guy, the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur! He had started a number of businesses and made a boat full of money. He was athletic, gregarious, the life of any party, generous and giving to his church and community. Besides my friend there were four other children, some were in his businesses others not.
Last week my friend Jimmie called.
He was very upset; the family businesses were in chaos. In some cases the non family partners were taking over, in other cases no one knew who was in charge.
We talked and talked. I asked Jimmie if his Dad had ever shared his vision for the business? I asked him if he had considered assembling his brothers and sisters for a Family Meeting?
Jimmie replied, sadly, “it’s a matter of trust.”
Trust in families, in business and on teams is very important. Trust makes us vulnerable. It forces us to share our strengths and weakness and ask for help. Trust comes with a belief that others will help, not injury with the knowledge of weakness. Trust comes with the expectation of confidence, that the others won’t share this weakness with the world.
Dr. Barbara Misztal, PhD. has written a number of books on trust. She believes trust does three basic things in the lives of people:
• Trust makes social life predictable
• Trust creates a sense of community, and
• Trust makes it easier for people to work together
Predictable communities where it’s easier for us to work together … who doesn’t want to sign up?
Only 38% of family businesses survive into the second generation.
It’s a matter of trust.
Besides getting the right people to acknowledge that survival will mean change and that change will be from an entrepreneurial to managerial to maybe a professional culture. None of this growth, development, progress will be accomplished without trust.
Great Teams like great companies, great cultures can only grow and survive change if there’s trust, the willingness to be vulnerable; to admit and ask for help.
In the end trust is a choice we each must make. We must be willing to open ourselves up and at the same time have faith that rest of the team is also choosing to believe.
Jimmie and I were coming to the end of this conversation, he was glad and proud that he had taken some great lessons from his Dad and elected not to join the family business. His heart was still and sad, that he and his siblings never had developed trust and all his fathers efforts were to be washed away.
It’s a matter of trust.
Remember all the runners are in the race compete, but only one wins. Let’s run to win.