Family businesses fail more often due to relationship challenges than for strictly business reasons.
For some of my blogs and newsletters over the past month or so, I have been mining the wisdom found in Maps for Men, A Guide for Fathers and Sons and Family Businesses by Pyles and Pyles. In it this father and son team has shared an incredibly meaningful understanding of and guide for families in business.
Here is one of their observations about relationships that I find important when thinking about these challenges:
“Relationships are the emotional bank in a family business. Communication is the main currency of the bank, where deposits and withdrawals are constantly being made. Like any bank, when the withdrawals outnumber the deposits, the relationship is in the red. High stakes situations require trust and leadership skills in order to turn anger and hurtful situations into meaningful and constructive dialogue and decisions. Those leaders who have the most influence create a parallel process of solid relationships and effective results.”
As social beings we are dependent upon good relationships and open communication. Failure to cultivate these within both the family system and the business system is a major threat to multi-generational success.
 Pyles and Pyles, Maps for Men. A Guide for Fathers and Sons and Family Businesses (WestBow Press, 2016), 162