Working With Siblings

In a recent blog entry, Seth Godin wrote about options for finding, leading and motivating employees in a small business (he used the term “tiny business”). He characterizes three different management styles, what types of employees work best in each, how they work together, how they relate to being led: “a team of equals, “fellow travelers,” industrialized employees.” He sets forth both advantages and pitfalls inherent in each option.

These same types–equals, fellow travelers, employees–will exist in family businesses staffed by siblings and/or cousins whether in leadership or subordinate roles. Understanding the distinctions, their pros and cons will go a long way in strengthening family relationships and the business itself.

Are siblings in your business equals, fellow travelers or employees?