Thursday, September 30, 2010

Business and Parenting and all those Dynamics

Do you believe that to run a business smoothly you need to be a "Good Parent" ?

From my reading, observation and personal experiences working with or in a small business requires not only the usual business savvy, drive and desire to succeed but the desire to be a 'Good Parent', setting the appropriate expectations, limits and boundaries that translate to employees who know what's expected of them and work within the guidelines that are established.

Easier said than done though because like every family, there are the many dysfunctions that make it work or not work.  Some would say that even with the dysfunctions the 'family' still functions and that is true and fine for the family but when you are running a business you cannot expect to have a thriving professional environment if you allow a family attitude develop that only transfers your family dysfunctions over into your business. 

I have worked the majority of my career in businesses with 25 or less employees and for the most part they were run pretty successfully but the ones that seemed to have the most problems were run by people who brought the family dysfunctions that they may have grown up with or created in their own homes to the office place.  As you know, the behavioral patterns that we develop [good or not so good] are a result of our experiences, reactions and desires to please or survive the situations we encounter.  It would seem to make sense that if we lived in a family that used boundaries, limits and expectations as a way of managing the home and kids that these people would bring this method of seeing and organizing their world to their business?

If a man was a passive husband, passive father and didn't really step up and be an active part of the 'team' raising the family, wouldn't it follow that he might run a business in a more passive way?  If a woman had to be a single mother 100% responsible for her family and home, in order to survive and stay in front of the curve she would have to develop a set up skills that would allow her to keep everything moving forward.  She would have to be organized, solution-oriented, clear in setting expectations ... the list goes on.  Doesn't it seem to follow that she would run a business in a similar manner.  Then there's the couple who work as a team, sharing the responsibilities of the home and raising a family - creating a united front when faced with challenges and the decision making that goes on day to day.  I believe these people would run their business in the same manner, supporting teamwork and respect and combined decision making.  It doesn't make sense that their default would be otherwise.  But there are all kinds of ways people run their business which is something I find very interesting to study.

What do you think?  Anyone reading this who would be willing to sit down and be interviewed for an article I want to write please contact me.  I think now more than ever self-employment which is another word for "small business" is on the rise and I want to support every one's effort through information and education which is why I want to write more about the experience.

So ask yourself, how am I being a good parent to my business and those who work for me?  Tell me what you come up with.

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