How Do You Deal with an Underperforming Family Business Member? — Part II

Business Leader Post, September 10, 2012

Thomas D. Davidow, Ed.D.

The hardest part of following the directions for assessing the problem, which I suggested in Part I, is starting the process and finishing it despite the information you hear or the behaviors you observe.

Why is it so hard to start? Why is it hard to start a diet? Why is it so hard to maintain it?

Unconsciously and/ or consciously we know that any time we address an uncomfortable and demanding issue, we face something unknown and scary. There is doubt about the outcome. What will it be? Ultimately, the driving force behind going forward is the awareness that not going forward would be dramatically worse.

Similarly, who wants to address the fallout of this somewhat innocent initial step of assessing the situation? Everybody in your family and in your business will know about it. The decision to go forward represents behavior that is a dramatic departure from the usual and signals that there could be changes in the system that would affect them as well.

Everybody quickly lines up on the side of dealing with the issue because everybody is aware of the problem. You will get a lot of support in the beginning, and there will be those who will continue to support you in the process. But there will also be those who fall off the support wagon and onto the “undermining of change” wagon.

Listening to those who support you and ignoring those who don’t is a demanding task all by itself.