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The Family Business

August 31, 1990 Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey JR become the first father and son to play on the same time at the same time in professional baseball. While it is unusual for a father and son to play on the same sports team together, it is not so unusual for a father or mother and child to work in the same family business. While this scenario is not as unusual as parent/child playing professional sports together, running a family business can be fun, exciting and yes very stressful. Money and family and friends don’t always go well if there are not rules in place for how to handle situations.

So how does one make a family business work?


Defined roles are the starting point. Each family member needs to be given a defined measurable role within the business. With these roles in place each family member needs to understand that they need to respect the decisions each other makes and allowed to make mistakes without punishment or ramifications. The second important piece is to leave work at work and not bring the business into everyday family life. Third, leave family drama at the office door. Family situations can be tough enough, don’t bring the family fights into the business. When at work the focus should be on the work at hand, there will be plenty of off time to deal with the family matters.

The right to vote. When it comes to global business decisions, each officer of the company has the right to vote.

Running, maintaining and growing a family business is hard work. When you need an intermediary to help resolve situations, a trusted advisor may be just the person the business needs to provide an outside opinion, be a tie breaker or simply be a voice of reason when decisions are tough to come by.

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