Posts Tagged ‘business performance’

Cousin Thinks He is the Star; Employees Think He’s Average at Best.

business-superman-955075-mIt’s not that uncommon for us to come across family members in family businesses that have an unrealistic sense of their abilities and impact. However, this can have a detrimental effect on the business as well as on the person living a bit of a… delusional life.

I have seen this many times. It happens for a couple of reasons. First of all, many family members assume greatness due to their name and lineage. It’s easy to see how that can happen. They grow up hearing stories about the founder’s vision, tenacity and accomplishments and they kind of fall into the trap of assuming all of those qualities were bestowed upon them at birth. We know that’s rarely the case.

The second reason it can happen is that deep down someone has a sense of insecurity, and so they overcompensate by acting as if they are the superstar, when in fact they are not.

These situations have far reaching implications to the family business. I’ve seen family members heading up key parts of the family business such as sales or finance, when they don’t have great skills in those areas. Having an underperformer in any area of a business can be potentially fatal to the business. Additionally, having an underperformer in a key role can be disheartening to other members of the team.

When you combine that situation with someone strutting around like a superstar, when in fact they are an underperformer, the effect can be downright embarrassing.

If you work with us at all, you will know that all of our family business coaching revolves around creating role definitions and results based upon the best practices of great companies.

Many family business people have convinced themselves they are great based upon their own scorecard. When we bring objectivity and business best practice measurements to the situation, it creates an opening for honest dialogue about improving family business performance.

Let’s go back to the underperformer. You want to create a safe, non-threatening environment where people embrace honesty and performance improvement. Lots of people kid themselves about their greatness, but strong, healthy family businesses face performance head on in healthy and objective ways.

Find a way to steer the family toward looking at performance, based upon best practices, and you will be on the way to improving the situation. Sometimes as coaches we can say things to people that no one else can say to them.

Rocky had Mickey in his corner. Who do you have?



I just realized business leadership today is a little bit like a 15 round heavyweight boxing match.  It’s very difficult out there right now in the business world.

I’m a little bit like the guy in the corner with the stool and the bucket as a support for the prizefighter.  Many times coaching is about teaching leaders a new technique, but sometimes it’s just about providing some real time performance feedback and support.

Like the executive teams that participate in our quarterly leadership workout, we might just provide them a safe place to sit down, catch their breath and get a pat on the back.  I might tell them “keep your hands up… keep leading with your left hook and you’re doing great out there.” (About as much as I know about boxing!)

Leadership right now is what my client Eric Scollard calls “hard rock mining.”

So consider this deliberate practice… have someone in your corner who you can go to on a regular basis, if nothing else, to get to sit down, take a break, cool off and get some positive and objective feedback.

It’s tough out there.  Good luck.

Don’t you love it when you see passion in business performance?

Okay let’s face it… every day we are giving a performance!  Like great musicians and actors, we are going to have an opportunity to hit the notes just right, “nail the scene” or “mail it in”.  It’s our choice.  It’s our responsibility.

We seem to forget that at times.  This is true in our business performance, our friend performance, our coworker performance, our significant other performance, and our parent performance.

Let me give you an examples of peak performance.

Let me introduce you to Veronica Lodge.   Veronica is the shoeshine professional over at V’s Barbershop in my neighborhood.  Let me set the backdrop.  I’ve been having the same person at an unnamed shoe shop shine my shoes for the past 10 years.  I have been a loyal customer.

I’m in getting my hair cut at V’s last month and Veronica comes over with all her enthusiasm and attitude and starts to tell me what it takes to be a really great shoeshine.  She goes on with such confidence and determination explaining how her shoe shines are like no other.  She says, “They last longer.  Look better.  Keep shoes looking like new all of the time.”

I’m sold.  She takes my shoes, shines them, all the while, still talking on and on about a great shoeshine.  I have to tell you it was a great shoeshine.  I’m taking my shoes to Veronica even when I’m not going in for a haircut.

What’s most amazing about Veronica is her passion, determination and confidence about what she does.  Of course the best part is her business results are equal to her promise she makes in her confidence in her service.  I have to say, as a business coach, I run across many people who have confidence that doesn’t equal the results they produce.  Back to Veronica.  Please don’t take this the wrong way Veronica .  Veronica is selling a five dollars service.  A service some would say is less than glamorous, not high on their career choice list.  But to Veronica it is the most important thing in the world when she is at work.

I’m thinking to myself, what would happen if all of those business people I work with every day had the same kind of positive attitude, determination and confidence that Veronica took in her shoeshine service?  The world would be a better place.

In our business coaching we are trying to help business people, CEOs, and business leaders be more like Veronica.  Be passionate about what you do.  Be the best at it.  Go confidently after acquiring more clients and deliver on what you promise.

In the meantime, just hope Veronica doesn’t switch to your profession.  My guess is she would kick your ass.

Oh yeah.  Do me a favor.  Take your shoes in to Veronica and if it isn’t the best shoeshine you’ve had, let me know.  I’d be surprised.