The Evolution of Culture Within Family Business

“Don’t romance the past and fail to consider the future.”

(A client of mine made this very simple, yet incredibly profound, statement when discussing the cultural shift through transitions within the company.)

The Shift

The majority of my clients are going through a shift - the founding entrepreneurs, owners and senior leadership are preparing for offboarding while the next generation of leaders is stepping into more challenging roles.

Foundational leaders have experience and want to protect and advance what they created and built. The next gens desire more responsibility and want to carve their path. In most cases, both generations recognize the need for innovation and new ideas. How they go about it is likely the key difference.

Keep in mind that company cultures are living and breathing organisms and team members are intuitive and highly aware. They’re smart and sense, know and feel when changes or cultural shifts are about to occur.

If the leaders of organizations are to maximize generational transitions, they’ve got to inspire high levels of accountability, communication and collaboration among foundational and next-gen leaders. This is the opportunity to define a renaissance within their company.

A Business Renaissance

Renaissance. A renewed interest in something. Rather than just transitioning from one generation to the next, family business leaders have a choice about bringing a sense of revival to their leadership teams and to the future of their company. Transitions offer opportunities. Leaders define whether they will use them or lose them to catalyst new ideas, new ways and new approaches.

Preserve, Let Go and Communicate

As leadership transitions from one generation to the next, there are three critical questions to consider.

  1. What do we need to preserve and why?
  2. What do we need to let go of and why?
  3. What are we doing to continually communicate, value candor and define accountability?

Don’t Leave Your People Guessing

Keep this thought in mind: People should not be left to guess about what transition means for the company, its culture and forward direction.  As companies move from one generation to the next, it’s important for leaders in transition to keep the context of decisions, choices, communication and actions in mind. This is about awareness at the highest levels. It stems from the mindset that a generational transition impacts every single person within the company at some level. Rather than constantly discussing “the change” discuss the new opportunities that the transition presents. Allow leaders the opportunity to share their visions and build an environment of enthusiasm.

Always remember that in the absence of clarity and communication people will fill in the blanks for themselves. Don’t let that happen. Value legacy. Embrace the future. Don’t romance either at the expense of the other. Define your renaissance.

Here’s to revival,

Thoughts? I’d love to hear them in the comments.

The Importance of Healthy Separations

Always Thinking About the Business

Entrepreneurs, owners and execs have many things in common. One of which is that we’re always thinking about the business. I repeat, we’re ALWAYS thinking about the business. With this comes the struggle between work life and personal life. No, I’m not talking about what I believe to be the overly-discussed, overly-conceptualized and overly-idealized work-life balance. I’m talking about maintaining a passion and purpose for your complete self and your complete life.

The Frustration

I’ve tried and failed many times at work-life balance. As a business owner, there are times where such a condition simply doesn’t exist. As a person, there are times where balance is as simple as a little less work and a little more personal time. Reading about the topic frustrated me more than it helped me. I didn’t feel like this utopian state of work-life balance was possible or existed.

Passion and Purpose

I’ve always been passionate and purposeful about what I do and the things I choose to undertake. These are characteristics of who I am at my core and they have brought more good than bad in my life. So I got to thinking... What if I were to change my view? What if I were to look at it differently?

What if I utilized them to define a healthy separation instead of the so-called work-life balance? What if I were deliberate about creating space in my life?

Anything But Easy

Achieving space to create a healthy separation is anything but easy. It’s 8:01 p.m. and I’m writing this while I’m home. I’m a student of this process and a teacher of others (where a proven track record of achievement is much more clearly defined).

To say that I’ve had to be diligent about developing systems that support a healthy separation would be an understatement. For me, home can’t always come second to work and prioritizing home doesn’t mean that I’m compromising work.

There’s value in hobbies, interests and friendships. They offer support to a healthy separation; they don’t compete against it. Easy to say, much harder to recognize and act on.

The Business of Family Business

Recognizing this value can be especially difficult within the boundaries of family business. When you work together, it’s nearly impossible to not take business home. Yet I know that I must value the totality of my life not just the working aspect of my life.

I once asked a client’s daughter how their Thanksgiving was; her response was heartbreaking. “What Thanksgiving? We had a business meeting.” Don’t judge. Think about how closely this may resemble some aspect of your life.

When you’re passionate and purposeful, creating a healthy separation is hard work. It’s hard because of attributes like commitment, dedication, care and concern. And yet, if we don’t make the effort to do so, we never gain the ability to understand and appreciate the value of a complete life.

Recognizing this, I’ve developed 5 tips/reminders to support a healthy separation. Reminders and tips to myself and for myself. Maybe they will help you as well.

  1. Have a defined time each evening when you shut off work and focus on home.
  2. Develop a code word or hand signal your family can give you when you’re crossing over into work at non-work events.
  3. Set aside certain days each month that are strictly personal. Use these days to focus on your family, friends and hobbies.
  4. Develop a hobby that you love and take the time to identify how the hobby helps you confront your work with clarity.
  5. Take a vacation!

With an appreciation for the journey and the recognition that we’re all a work in progress.


P.S. How have you worked to create a healthy separation?  Share your tips in the comments.

The Fine Line Between Order and Chaos

How much change is too much change? It’s a question I’m asked on a regular basis.

How much change is too little change? It’s a question I’ve never been asked in nearly 20 years as an advisor to the leaders of privately-held companies.

Understanding how much change your company can absorb exists in the relationship between requirements, capacity and speed.

  • Requirement - The level and pace of change needed for your company to adapt, evolve and exist into the future.
  • Capacity - The understanding of how well you’ve developed and conditioned people in your company to handle and manage specific amounts change.
  • Speed - The pace at which change must occur in order to maximize opportunity in relation to performance and profitability.

While there’s a fine line between order and chaos, change must occur for growth to occur. If you expect your company to thrive into the future, you need to be highly intentional at evolving the load limit of your leaders. Behaviorally, people are unique and each of them responds to change differently. You can, however, increase the required capacity and speed by which your team deals with and processes change effectively.

Awareness Drives Understanding

I drive a Ram 3500 Laramie. There’s no doubt that it’s a big, bold and powerful truck, and yet it has limits. These limits are designed to protect the truck and allow it to maximize its performance. Example - before towing anything with my truck, the manufacturer recommended that I drive 1,000 miles. Why? Because towing puts the truck under load and in order to maximize performance, the truck needed to have some miles on it before that happened.

There’s no mathematical equation or crystal ball to define whether there’s too little change or too much change occurring in your organization. Leadership awareness is what drives this understanding. You must be directly connected to the people and culture of your company to understand specific load limits. Do you recognize these within your company?

Agents of Change

You’ve got to understand with relentless awareness who will do what when it comes to engaging the requirement, speed and capacity of change. Here are five questions to ask yourself regarding leaders and their load capacity.

  1. Who consistently steps in, steps up and demonstrates an ability to handle change?
  2. Who’s long on talk and short on action?
  3. Who needs time to think and process?
  4. Who will follow direction regarding change and spell out the rules related to change?
  5. Who thinks, acts, executes and owns change proactively?

Advancing the Load Limit

If you’re looking to understand real chaos, it can be found through leaders who have never been tested - leaders who have a philosophical understanding of the difficulty and challenge of change but have never had to fight the battle of change day-in and day-out.

Advancing the load limit of a leader begins by providing exposure to situations and scenarios that cause them to discover capacity that they didn’t even know they had. Difficult? Likely! Great! Dive in! This is where the skills of planning, critical thinking, action orientation and measurement are discovered and developed.

Order is maintained through change when someone demonstrates their awareness and experience in leadership. By the way, this doesn’t mean they have to have all the answers.

Chaos is the result when you don’t condition people to expand their critical thinking, confront change proactively and don’t require them to expand their decision-making ability.

An investment in someone who consistently relies on other people to do their thinking for them is a waste.


Your engine warning light serves a purpose even though at first look you may view it as an inconvenience. That light is designed to bring awareness. It exists to help you identify an issue before it becomes something much worse.

There’s an engine warning light in your company. It’s what identifies the people in key positions who don’t recognize the requirement, capacity or speed at which change is occurring and must occur- the people you keep propping up in the hope that they will eventually get it.

WARNING: They won’t. What’s your engine warning light?

The Question That's Increasing Your Employee Turnover

“To reach people no one else is reaching, we must do things that no one else is doing.”
Craig Groeschel

Am I Supposed to Be Here?

I recently attended an event at which there was not a name tag prepared for me when I arrived. As the individual running the registration table fumbled to figure out why I didn’t have a name badge, I stood there staring at the 100 plus name tags that were laid out on the table. “Am I supposed to be here?” I wondered to myself. How often do new employees have this same thought on their first day?

When Laura arrived at her first job out of college the office doors were locked. When she knocked, no one came to the door. Eventually, someone with a keycard let her into the building, but they were unable to provide her direction on where to go beyond that point. “I had wandered into a sea of closed doors. I felt so lost,” said Laura, “I wondered if I was supposed to be there.” Laura only stayed with the organization for 10 months. 

Many companies put an emphasis on onboarding and development to “fulfill” new employees but simultaneously fall short in the first impression by failing to make the new employee feel known and welcome.

Succeeding at the First Impression:

In today’s job market, it’s no secret that top-performing job candidates have numerous options. As you hire, you must constantly remind yourself that not only are you trying to select the ideal candidate, but they’re trying to select the ideal company. First impressions matter. Would you rather work for a company that made you feel welcomed at your interview or a company that made you feel intimidated?

Ten Points for Positive First Impressions:

  1. Select someone to greet the individual and guide them through their first day.
  2. Provide an itinerary for their first day.
  3. Make sure all required materials and resources are prepared and ready.
  4. Clearly communicated expectations for the first day.
  5. Meet, greet, tour and introduce.
  6. Be prepared to answer simple questions like “where’s the restroom?” or “where should I go if I have questions?”
  7. Develop a handout of company language and terms.
  8. Create a connection and talk with them about your first day on the job.
  9. Don’t tell them about your company’s culture, show them examples of how your culture is experienced and lived out.
  10. Remember what you’d want to experience if this was your first day on the job.

Do Your Actions Reflect Your Words?

I constantly hear leaders say, “We value our people!” That’s great, but let’s make sure our actions are a reflection of our words. No new employee should have to wonder if they belong at your company on their first day.


When was the last time you invested time in understanding what a new employee, at any level, experiences on their first day?

Given the experience, would you feel welcome and want to work for your company?

Final Thought

What if your entire paycheck was based on the first impression you created for new employees? Would you get paid?  Are you willing to challenge yourself to change something that isn’t working?

People deserve better than our scraps of thought regarding their first day and first impression.


P.S. How does your company/organization work to make positive first impressions on new employees? Let me know in the comments.

Why Vulnerability Creates Connected Leaders

Dear Evolving Leader,

I begin this letter with the recognition that there’s no such thing as a completely developed leader. Each of us who are seeking to grow, develop and advance needs to be continuously evolving. We are quite literally, a work in progress.

You may be asking yourself why you’re getting this on Thursday rather than Tuesday. The answer is because this is a really challenging topic for me to write about and I’ve re-written this letter several times.

Throughout my career, one of my biggest struggles has been in the relationship between confidence/strength and the ability to be vulnerable. How does the ability to resist and withstand connect with the ability to be open and susceptible? In my mind, this was about the choice of either/or rather than and.

There are areas of our evolution that are easier than others. Some take more time and some less. For me, the balance between strength and vulnerability has been a continual work in progress. These two don’t seem to naturally go together and there are times when I feel like they contradict each other.

All too often, we as leaders find ourselves unnecessarily guarded. Afraid to be real or raw. Hesitant to reveal a personal perspective in order to not compromise the professionalism for which we’re known. Recognizing that there are many times when we have better questions than we have answers.

While there’s a certain protection in not revealing our vulnerabilities, the price that’s paid is potentially becoming unrelatable as a leader. Leadership is about people and it’s about influence. As such, there’s no advantage to being unrelatable to the people we lead.

There’s a very thin line between being relatable and unrelatable. My experience has shown me firsthand that the line is labeled vulnerability.

Vulnerability isn’t based on weakness, it’s based on awareness. Awareness of our strengths, limitations and potential blind spots. Areas where we’re the catalyst for advancement and where we’re the roadblock to progression. Vulnerability is what opens the door to new conversations and new ideas. It’s at the core of innovation and re-invention. On so many occasions, vulnerability means standing in a place that’s necessary even when it’s not comfortable.

So why does vulnerability create connected leaders? Because it’s their source of confidence rather than contradiction. Their ability to withstand is based on their awareness and openness to understand themselves, others and the situations they face. They’re the first to admit their successes and failures. They openly share the experiences that have shaped who they are and they’re willing to say, “I don’t know,” … which is followed quickly by, “but I’ll find out.”

In a world that seems to have no filters, engaging in the conversation creates its own unique vulnerability. I don’t need to be vulnerable because it’s trending or socially driven. For me, my growth in this area is about one thing: Being relatable and valued as a person and a professional to the people with whom I’m connected. 

This is the space of confidence and strength driven by a continual evolution and achieved by a willingness to be open and aware.

In this space, I have come to value what it means to be an evolving leader and I hope that this letter contributes to your progression as well.




What does vulnerability mean to you? Where have you been willing to be vulnerable and built your confidence at the same time? Let me know in the comments.

Your Success Depends On Getting Out of Your Own Way

Can you identify a time when you were a roadblock to your own success?

Maybe you overthought something when you should have taken action. Maybe you weren’t receptive to a new/different idea because it challenged your norm or what you knew. Maybe you focused so much on others that you didn’t focus on yourself. Did you miss the forest for the trees?  Maybe you lacked an awareness. Whatever the case, it's time to get out of your own way.

I know a promising young entrepreneur. He’s extremely bright and talented. He connects and communicates with confidence, but he has one problem... He’s standing in his own way. He’s so focused on his own path and methods that he overlooks, or fails to consider, who his clients are and what they’re striving to achieve. He doesn’t take the time to self-reflect and gain the awareness of his own roadblocks.

Like so many of us, he doesn’t need more lessons, he simply needs to get out of his own way.

Assessment, Awareness and Advancement

The starting point of my work with people and companies is assessment. Most often, that involves an owner/exec/manager/leader completing an actual assessment. The assessment offers value and objectivity in understanding personal strengths and limitations. Quite simply, these are the two factors of awareness that either accelerate advancement or become potential roadblocks to success. These roadblocks are the things that stop or slow you from getting what you want.

What To Do With a Roadblock?

When we face roadblocks, the best option is to deal with them so they don’t stall progress.

Waze, the mapping app, has two primary objectives. The first is to provide the most efficient route to get you where you’re going and the second is to keep you moving. How does Waze accomplish this? Aside from a whole lot of technology, the app integrates user feedback and reporting on what’s going on in real time.

There’s nothing more frustrating than being stalled and feeling like you’re going nowhere. In that moment, Waze doesn’t give users lessons on how to drive, it helps them navigate the best course of action in dealing with the situation and current conditions. Waze relies on a community of users that help each other navigate the potential roadblocks that will be confronted along a chosen route of travel.

Your Community of Users

Like Waze Users (a.k.a. - Wazers) you can learn from your own community of connections. (a.k.a. - Mentors) Effective mentors don’t give you lessons on how to lead, they offer you awareness and guidance based on their real-life experiences. You get to choose the best course of action in dealing with current conditions and situations. Mentors help you develop an awareness of your strengths and limitations. They help you get out of your own way.

Five Ways Effective Mentors Help You Get Out of Your Own Way:

  1. They ask you the questions that make you think, reflect and increase your self-awareness. Ultimately, the questions they ask are helping define a course of action that helps you achieve what you want.
  2. They focus on you. They don’t focus on their achievements or accomplishments. Your successful outcome is the measure of their success and a failure is shared.
  3. Their influence takes a work with approach. They’re willing to be vulnerable and experiences are shared in a way that forms a relatable connection.
  4. They will challenge you to maximize your capacity and often times see things in you that you don’t see in yourself.
  5. They’re relentlessly objective with you and you being comfortable with every idea isn’t their primary objective. Your evolution and advancement is their “why.”


How do you deal with roadblocks in your awareness, understanding or career? Let me encourage you to get out of your own way.


P.S. Do you have a mentor who had a positive impact on your life? Share about them in the comments.

Complacency Will Kill Your Career

Have you ever thought one thing in your brain and stopped it from exiting your mouth? Do you have situations or circumstances that trigger this mental battle for you? The conflict between knowing what you want to say and valuing what’s appropriate to say. The struggle is real.

The Filter in Your Head 

This is what stops you from saying something even though you were thinking it. Behaviorally, the filter is known as emotional intelligence, reaction index control or empathy. No matter what you call it, it’s the relationship between knowing when and how to deliver a message in a way that’s constructive versus destructive. Developmental ahead of judgemental.


And for all of the filters that we use to help us not offend others, there are times we simply need to say what needs to be said. Dispense with the filtering in favor of increasing someone’s awareness about their cluelessness because that will give them the best opportunity for success.

Self-awareness is a gift that has the potential to benefit someone for a lifetime.

Stop Being the Victim

Complacency is driven by a lack of awareness of deficiencies. Mediocrity is the result of existing with or tolerating low quality, value or ability. There’s a direct relationship between complacency and mediocrity. Which came first the chicken or the egg?

While I’m appreciative of friends with filters and their ability to soften the blow; I’m truly appreciative of friends who will tell me what I need to hear rather than what I want to hear. These are people who are unwilling, and unable, to let me be the victim because they know the truly negative outcomes of this mentality.

While some are content in mediocrity, they wonder in amazement why coworkers who they’re competing against for promotions and pay raises are breaking through barriers and advancing their careers. Think about how many people look at what others have with little to no awareness of the effort that was required and expect to receive the same outcome apart from the work.

That being said, here’s a bit of unfiltered feedback that needs to be heard as a part of the development track for people who are the victim of their own complacency:

Complacency will kill your career. The sooner you recognize that the complacency you’re not confronting is driven by your tolerance of mediocrity and lack of awareness, the sooner you’ll be on the path to truly definable growth both personally and professionally. You’re not the victim. Stop playing the victim. You own you, so start defining you differently.  Better yet, start defining you so others don’t.

Definition and Accomplishment

The good news is there are many solutions to existing with complacency, and it starts with knowing what you want to achieve and pushing past self-imposed boundaries.

  • Knowing what you want in the long-term and creating short-term goals that will turn that vision into your reality is key. This starts with having a specific plan for each day. Create a mental or written checklist of what you’ll accomplish that day, and don’t settle for less. Better yet, don’t settle for only accomplishing those items. Overwhelming? Start with a list of three items that have to be accomplished every day. No compromise. These are the “must achieves”.
  • Surround yourself with people who don’t accept mediocrity from themselves and certainly won’t accept it from you. Who you hang out with defines a portion of who you become. Ask your coworkers, friends, and family to hold you accountable to your goals. Identify and connect with a mentor of excellence. Someone who’s succeeding in a way you admire and engage them in a conversation of awareness. Rather than resenting someone for their accomplishments, be receptive to the methods, habits and qualities that have led to their victories.

“It is remarkable how much mediocrity we live with, surrounding ourselves with daily reminders that the average is acceptable. Our world suffers from terminal mediocrity. Take a moment to assess all the things around you that encourage you to remain average. These things keep you powerless, unable to go beyond the limits that you have arbitrarily set for yourself. Take your first steps towards mastery by removing everything in your environment the represents mediocrity, removing your arbitrary limits. Try surrounding yourself with friends that expect more of you than you do. Didn't some of your best teachers, your coaches, your parents expect more of you?”

An excerpt from Mastery by Stewart Emery

Final Thoughts

If you know someone who gets out of bed to do something poorly, consider the positive impact on their life if you helped them understand the value of getting out of bed to do it well. After all, the cure for cluelessness can be found in awareness.

Don’t ever let complacency kill your career. The only person you’ll have to blame will be you.


Come on… give me your comments. Agree or disagree? Jump into the conversation. What do you think?

Every Person in Your Organization Must Understand This One Principle

Every person in your organization must understand this one principle - what they do in their role contributes to the profitability of your company. Profitability isn’t simply a goal to be achieved, it’s the outcome of the work your people do every day:

How they serve your customers.
How they think about the problems that have to be solved.
How they pay attention to detail.
How they lead and follow.

It’s the direct result of your commitment to them and their commitment to you.

Reality Check

You can make a profit and still not maximize profitability. That’s because profit is an absolute number - revenue minus expenses. While profitability is a relative number - a percentage that expresses the ratio between profit and revenue.

If profit measures how much money a company is earning, profitability measures the impact of your people on your business.

When two companies make the same profit and one is significantly more profitable, go straight to the people as the reason why.

The How

Simon Sinek wrote a great book titled Start With Why. If you haven’t read it, let me encourage you to do so.  Interestingly enough the subtitle of the book is even more intriguing to me: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Did you catch that? For all of the emphasis on why, when it comes to maximizing profitability through people, the most important word is HOW.

How does every person in your organization contribute to the profitability of your company in their role? That’s a statement first and a question second by design.

It’s the responsibility of leaders to consistently and relentlessly communicate how what people do, day in and day out, directly contributes to the profitability of their company.

When people are developed with the awareness of their impact, they have a lens through which to consider their actions, choices and decisions.

When this occurs, they have the ability to affect outcomes. Why? Because they can then answer the question of how on their own.

Have the Conversation

Clarity comes from understanding. Defining someone’s contribution to success allows them to be sure that what they do matters. If you can’t, don’t or won’t establish the how, you’re likely left with an assumption.

Do you really want to treat profitability as an assumption? Do you want to assume that people know the impact of their choices, decisions and actions or would you rather know with certainty?

Clarity is the result of communication.

It’s concerning to me how often really strong leaders are simply willing to assume that communication about profitability is occurring. Have the conversation with people. Engage them in awareness and understanding. Pose the scenarios and require them to think it through and work it through.

People drive the performance of a company. From the entry-level to the C-Suite. If you disagree, then I’m going to ask you why that person has a job in your company. We all benefit when we’re challenged to think about how what we do contributes to the profitability of our company.

To begin the conversation just ask someone what they did really well today or how they could have done better today. The question leads to awareness which gives you insight and that insight allows you to make better choices and decisions to achieve better outcomes through people.


Make a point over the next week to ask several of your employees, team members or associates how they contribute to the profitability of your company in their role. Do they have the answer? Do you see their awareness, or lack of awareness, reflected in their choices, decisions and problem-solving ability?

Have you made a conscious effort to consistently communicate how individual roles contribute to profitability? Have you created a culture in which your people can answer that question independently?

Final Thought

As a leader, never forget that every area of your business, including profitability, is about one thing.


Here’s to communication, clarity and results,


P.S. Let me know your thoughts on this week's blog in the comments.

Family Favoritism is Alive and Well… and Limiting the Growth of Your Business

There’s no good outcome from allowing nepotism to be the deciding factor in a family member or friend getting a job within your company.  When you favor a friend or relative into the business, with little to no consideration of alignment to a role, you’re doing more harm than good to both them and the business.

It doesn’t mean that family and friends don’t have a place. After all, how does a business become a family business if there’s no family involved? Put simply, when you hire or promote people, including family members, who aren’t the best fit for the job, you’re encouraging misalignment.


No amount of love aligns a person to a role that doesn’t fit their behavioral style, leadership profile or driving forces for coming to work every day. Ask yourself if family members arrive at their positions on purpose or if they are placed in those roles with a healthy dose of “good luck” as their primary strategy for success. Misalignment between a person and their role isn’t resolved as a result of your intention for someone to be successful.

A Course of Action

In the two decades of serving the needs of leaders/owners of family-owned businesses, I’m continually struck by the compromise of performance standards driven by the belief and subjectivity that just because someone shares a lineage or friendship, they're going to bring superior performance to a role.

The best thing that leaders in family business can do to course-correct is to bring objectivity to the decisions of who gets a job within the company.

The Back-Story of Nepotism

Jaine was under-performing in her role and she knew it. For two years, her life was a self-described “living hell” and she wasn’t shy about sharing her opinion. She was the director of marketing. Her mother, and co-owner of the business, asked me to develop an understanding of where she was at and what should be done to correct the situation.

When I spoke with Jaine, here is exactly how she started the conversation: “I was put in this role because I’m my mother’s daughter, not because it’s what I wanted to do. She wants me in the company because that’s her vision and dream. I was an art major in college and my mom thought that my creativity would define my success in marketing. I wanted a job after graduation so I went along with it and I’ve regretted that decision ever since.”

This is the nightmare of nepotism within family businesses. Today, Jaine is a curator for an art museum in a major metro and she values her mom as a parent, rather than being frustrated by her as a business owner.

Fit Over Family

Within the business, there must be value in fit over family. Hiring someone simply because they’re related, but not aligned with their role, only prohibits or avoids family conflict for a moment.

On the other side of that decision are blind spots that are seen by everyone with the exception of the person that decided to favor family over fit.

5 Things to Consider When Hiring Family into the Business

Ask these questions if you’re looking to eliminate blind spots when hiring family into the business. Each of these have an emphasis that considers fit over family.

  1. Why is this family member the best person for the job? How have they earned this role ahead of other candidates?
  2. What are their unique skills and how will their talents and abilities deliver value to the role?
  3. What tension will be created within the family and the business by placing this person in this role?
  4. Am I hiring this person because they are the best fit and aligned to the role or am I selecting this person to avoid family conflict?
  5. What thought or perspective haven’t I considered? What are the potential blind spots?

Until next week,

Have you seen nepotism “in action”? I’d like to hear what you think or have you share your perspective and experiences.

The Growth of a Business Requires Constant Refinement

Thinking Differently About Growth

The growth of a business is fueled by the growth of people. Both are based on constant refinement and evolution. Small changes, or those of a bigger variety, should drive improvement and clarification as things move from simple to more complex.

If you’re growing and advancing, you’re consistently making refinements in your approach. 

The Morph

In the nearly two decades since I started Perpetual Development, my commitment to the growth and development of people, and the companies that they’re a part of has never changed. I know the following to be true: When you help people maximize and achieve their potential, they will do the same exact thing for you.

With this commitment in mind, when changes or refinements are required within my company they get made. I’ve never been afraid of morphing--the transformation that allows us to evolve, grow and achieve our potential.

The Growth Exchange

I learned a long time ago to never fall so in love with a method that it blinded me. Doing so would keep me from the objective of better serving our clients and achieving better outcomes.

If you invest in people, they will invest in you. Their growth is my growth. Your expansion is my expansion. It’s a growth exchange. The challenges of your growth are the challenges of my growth. Personally and professionally this has been proven to me over and over again.

And it all comes down to awareness.

It’s about:

  • recognizing strengths, shortcomings, failures, and successes.
  • reflecting and recognizing changes in direction and strategy
  • thinking bigger and beyond boundaries.


Our growth is a series of exchanges connected to the growth of others.

Our Maturity

The full breadth of our development, individually or organizationally, is truly perpetual. As I have evolved, so has the company. And as Perpetual Development has evolved so has the relationship and work we share with our family of clients.

Interestingly...most of our morphs have come as a result of people whose intention was helping me maximize my potential--growth exchange in action.

Last week I discussed the evolution taking place at Perpetual Development and how time away, intentional planning, and a willingness to go beyond boundaries has led to an evolved mission here at PDI.

It’s also what led to the new look and feel of We’ve made it more clear, concise, and user-friendly so that there’s no question what we’re up to. And as always, I welcome your feedback. Thanks for being a part of this journey with us.

Here’s to continual evolution,