Conflict between two generations in the family business. A father does not want to let go of his business.
Why do the elder members of the community not want to let go of their businesses, by allowing the younger generation to take over?
A number of businessmen through themselves into their work, because it is their satisfaction in life, it is what keeps them going. They become passionately devoted to their businesses. The thought of retirement scares them as it is too big of a change. In certain cases, retirement has had a negative effect on a person’s health. This situation should be prepared for well in advance. Businessmen should avoid having only the business as their pass-time they should look at hobbies and other ways of using their time, so that retirement does not seem like a boring stage in life, rather a time to fulfil other aspirations that they might have always wanted to. They should ensure that they are not holding the business back by not allowing younger members to take control of it.
Other reasons why he/she would not want to let go of the business?
Sometimes a business owner might feel that the business will be nothing without but rather it is the other way around. He is afraid of not having that business anymore. He feels, that he might lose, status power and friends in losing their business. But this is not the reality, businessmen need to overcome this fear of losing themselves in losing their businesses. Because if done correctly leaving your business can allow you to live a better happier life.
The Transition of handing over.
Both parties, young and old need to understand each other and respect each other opinions and skills. Do not hastily change things, the business has been successfully managed so far, so why not use the same strategies as before. Ensure a slow process, do not push anyone out too fast. Learn the skills you need before you take full control.
When a father undermines his son.
The father might look upon his son as ungrateful and unappreciated, which can cause the son to feel hostile towards his father. A father might feel like his son will never be able to run the business adequately, while the son yearns for his chance to run the business. A son might wait patiently for this moment, always with the feeling that it might be soon. With each postponement, he feels anger and frustration.
How to show that you are capable of running the business?
Before handing over, the father will probably consider the following. Am I handing over for the right reason? Is it in the best interest of the business? Do I have the right candidate? Is it the right time to hand over? Will my son have the support from customers and the community that I had?
What should the son do in the meantime?
The father will not just hand it over that quickly, work in such a way that you earn your father trust. Show him that you are not what he thinks, that you have grown and are able to take the responsibility of running the business. Let your actions speak louder than your words. Build a bond with him to show him how responsible you are. With time, he will come to see your confidence and abilities.
The father refuses to introduce technology into the business.
The son feels the need to introduce technology into the business but the father does not. This can sometimes be due to the fact that the father is not familiar with technology and its related concepts. The older generation often feels unsafe sharing personal information over the internet, like banking details. This adds to the fear of incorporating technology. It is important to understand the older generations fears regarding technology before insisting on it.
What can be done about this?
The older generation often mainly understands the disadvantages of technology only and not advantages. It is the responsibility of the youth to prove and show the advantages of technology. Particularly the advantages of using it in the business, how it can save time and money. Elaborate on the businesses needs and how technology can provide for this. Allow them to communicate their fears about technology and show them how it works exactly and the security barriers that are there. If you are going to incorporate technology, provide clear instructions on how to use it and use the simpler forms and formats of technology. Remember that to be successful you need to take skills that others have, this includes a mutual exchange of skills and learning from both the father and son.
A father contemplates bringing his son into the family business.
People often bring family members into their business, because of their emotions. One should not let their emotions run their business. This might not be an easy task, but it needs to be done. Because if you let emotions cloud your judgement it makes you look weak in front of your customers and employees, this can severely affect your ability to make decisions. On the other hand, being insensitive can make you look cold and unapproachable. You need to find a balance between these two. There are both disadvantages and advantages of bringing family into the business.
Disadvantages to consider.
Every business faces challenges, but a family business has different challenges, which include family feuds, which usually arise from the inability to separate business and personal lives. Feuds often arise from varying interests between parties, this causes splits and rivalries. If you do not find a way to stop the feuding it will cause problems in your business. It is best not to hire, promote and pay someone based on their family relationship, rather it should be done based on their skills and abilities. As this will cause your non-family employees to lose the motivation to work for you and your family employees will become complacent. You need to keep in mind the threats of bringing family members into the business. It is important to remember that family conflict can cause your non-family employees to leave, they might see limited opportunities for them. Because senior positions are all taken up by family members.
Advantages to consider.
Family businesses form a grounded and loyal foundation for the company. Family members will often exhibit more dedication towards the businesses goals. Having family members in the business provide a support system that ensures teamwork and solidarity. Other advantages include long-term stability, trust loyalty and shared values. In a family business, there is flexibility when it comes to mistakes, work schedules and times. It also allows the person to have more family time.
What should the father do?
Think of all advantages and disadvantages, these would be different depending on your type of business and personalities of both father and son. Lay down personal ground rules for yourself. Make sure you discuss his individual roles and responsibilities, make everything clear before bringing him in. Be logical not emotional, ask yourself how would you deal with this situation if it was anyone else. The reward for competence and not a bloodline, treat him the same way you would treat other employees. Nature your relationship between you and your son outside the business, this increases trust and communication. Remunerate based on merit to avoid complacency. Create a succession plan for your business so that the day you retire he is fully able to take over and control the business.
Conflict between two brothers in the business.
There is sometimes a feud between two brothers to get their father approval. A younger brother may feel that the older brother is the father’s favourite and the older brother may have a condescending attitude to the younger brother. The older brother will naturally have an advantage as he is older and this makes the younger brother feel disadvantaged. In some instances, the parents will also view it this way. The younger brother aims to prove himself in the business, to get his father’s approval, by showing that he is just as skilled and abled as his older brother.
What can be done about this?
The father needs to understand both his son's abilities and skills and recognize what they can do for the business. If possible he can open different branches for each son, or different subdivisions in the business. The sons must be honest and consider their paternal relationships when working. If the son feels he wants to branch out on his own he should adequately explain this to his father. Respect your father’s achievements and how he has built his business, you need to understand that is not easy to build one. Remember to work as a family unit to come to the best solution for the business and family members.
When a mother is affected by a father-son feud.
This is natural, common but very unfortunate. This is hard for the mother to cope with, she doesn’t want to turn her back on either one. This is why she won’t exactly express her feelings. This is between the two of you and you should deal with it, without pulling the mother in. Reconciliation will only come if you listen carefully, give each other a chance and try to understand each other’s viewpoints. Leave business feuds at the office to avoid it getting bigger. Don’t let issues like this cause irreversible effects on family relations.