June 2014 - Dads

There is absolutely no reason why senior citizens cannot make a useful contribution to the family business right up to their dying day - providing it has been discussed by all parties. 'Pops' in business fall into three main categories:

The first type gets to an age where he feels that the younger members of the family are perfectly competent to manage both the operations and the finances. This sort of dad has usually had enough of business for one reason or another; he wants to do something different with his remaining active years.

Secondly there are those who recognise that the new generation is inevitably moving in with fresh ideas and fresh energy, yet they still want to be seen around the place. Their role is usually clearly defined and agreed. One septuagenarian I know can be spotted happily emptying the bins on a daily basis; an octogenarian I meet comes in just to open the post and then he goes home again.

The third type of dad wants to keep a handle on all aspects of the business for as long as possible. He loves to jump in anywhere at any time even though this is not in the best interests of the business; it also undermines the authority of the next generation, those that are, sooner or later, going to have to formulate their own way of doing things. This approach can often unwittingly cause frustration, confusion and conflict as the siblings desperately try to stamp their own mark on the business.

Time waits for no man and circumstances can change in a split second, so make sure you don't fudge this issue. The truth is that everyone serves the business, even the founder, 100% shareholder and grandpa. Then you too can have a Happy Father's Day on the 15th.



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