Posts Tagged ‘trust’

5 lessons from the family business looking back 15 years later

looking_backLife doesn’t always go the way you think it will.

I spent most of my childhood thinking that I would spend my entire career in our family business and hopefully someday run the family business.  It didn’t quite turn out that way and, when it’s all said and done, I love the way it turned out.  Don’t think that you can know the way life will turn out.  Stay open and optimistic and flexible about your life.

You can be miserable in the family business or any career for that matter.

I was so convinced a lot of my professional frustration was because of family dynamics.  When I got out and started doing business coaching in the business world I realized frustration happens because of style differences, value differences and being in the wrong       j-o-b.  It’s not always about a family member mistreating you.  It’s about you figuring out how to get along with lots of different types of people in lots of different kinds of situations.

If you’re unhappy do something about it or move on don’t just stay and be miserable.

I haven’t come across any family member in the family business that is physically chained to their desk.  Yet I work with a lot of family business participants that act like they don’t have a choice in the matter.  Get to work figuring out how to make yourself happy, change the situation or Move On life’s too short to SUFFER in a family business!

Make the most of your situation.

I spent 16 years in our family business and took it upon myself to learn how to be a strong business professional and leader.  I was fortunate that we had a very professionally run family business and it gave me the opportunity to build a strong identity and confidence as a business professional.  Every family business situation has its problems.  Find a way to make the most out of your situation and use it to make the most out of your career and your personal happiness.  I took my experience and decided to start a new career that built upon all the great experience I acquired.

Keep learning how to separate family and business.

This was something we were pretty good at as a family.  People often say to me, how can you possibly separate personal from business, you can’t.  Like many things that we teach it’s all about mindset.  Business owners and leaders make business decisions.  They don’t always sit perfectly with you from a personal standpoint and not accepting that is doing yourself, your family and your family business a disservice.  Sure if you think people are making decisions to cause you harm, I guess you should take it personally.  In the majority of cases I’ve seen, business owners are trying to make what they believe are good business decisions and other family members refuse to see that.

At the end of the day, get outside advisers and trusted business professionals to help you have objectivity about what’s going on.  You need to get further away than just your old family cronies that had been helping you for years.  You need new sets of eyes that have not been related to your family forever.

In conclusion, life’s too short to suffer in your family business.  Do whatever you can to begin to make the situation better or build your path to leaving the business.

Opportunity to Sharpen Your Coaching Skills

If you were learning how to become a master carpenter, you would see every job as a chance to learn something new.  It is the same in coaching.  In fact each situation you put yourself in that really challenges you will only accelerate your development as a coaching leader.  You might make a mistake or two, but we are not practicing to be heart surgeons here!

If you stay focused on individual and team performance and have a genuine desire to help people grow and succeed, people will want to work with you as you hone your skills.  I probably make a rookie coaching mistake or two along the way, but no one ever lost their trust in my commitment to help them succeed.  Trust is key.  Trust in yourself and trust the process of coaching and you and your team will grown and succeed.

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
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Coaching Pitfall – Can’t Model

One of the most common problems I see is leaders who espouse certain values and beliefs, but they are not willing to be held accountable to their beliefs.  The executive who says, “Everybody’s equally important in this company,” yet gives preferential privileges to themself and other members of the executive team. The CEO who says, “Integrity is a key component of the culture,” yet they talk behind people’s backs.

You can put any pretty words you want on the wall, but if you are not able to set the tone and be the example, it will never work, period, end of story!  It is not realistic to expect that you are going to be perfect 100 percent of the time – that is not what I am talking about. What I am talking about is an extremely high level of integrity and ability to model the values and if at some point you miss the mark, be transparent with your team and apologize for your mistake and recommit to the values. People can actually respect you more when you can demonstrate your vulnerability and be accountable for it.

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
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Coaching Leader Quality 4 – Ability to Build and Maintain Trust

Trust is where “the rubber meets the road” in coaching. It is very similar to how much you care about people. But if people do not trust you they are not going to listen to you, and they will not have a willingness to go “all out” to stretch them-selves. Great coaching leaders establish long-term relationships built on trust. Trust is built through being your word, having actions aligned with stated values, and being impeccable about all that you do.
The delicate thing about trust is that it can take years to build and seconds to destroy. Trust is like the capital you have built that you use every day to run your business. Without trust, you are done, so be very careful about protecting it!
Remember the cultural context of cynicism for leaders. John Q. Public has been burned a time or two, so I encourage everyone to be impeccable as a coaching leader. If you happen to trip and make a mistake, clean it up quickly and be honest about it.  


  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Friday, October 8th, 2010
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Coaching – A Sacred Trust

One of the greatest coaches of all times, John Wooden, (lead UCLA men’s basketball team to 7 consecutive championships) knew how important it was to be trusted as a Coach.  Here’s what he said “I considered it a sacred trust: helping to mold character, instill productive principles and values, and provide a positive example for those under my supervision”.  He obviously knew something about Coaching!

We incorporate many of the all-time great Coach’s philosophies into our CEO Coaching, Leadership Coaching and Family Business Coaching.

Top 5 ways to be a trusted Coach and achieve peak performance:

#1.  Model the way (right actions, attitude, determination)

#2.  Listen – the only way to understand what motivates your followers

#3.  Show you care – pay attention and ask about the details of their lives

#4.  Be consistent – reliability is the center of trust

#5.  Expect greatness from your followers before they even believe in it

Coach Pete’s Peak Playbook™ Coaching Tip – Trust

In my work coaching CEOs and their leadership teams we almost always get into the issue of trust.

We have several “plays” in our Peak PlaybookTM that help teams practice the key elements of trust.

One of the most essential elements of trust is personal integrity, which is a part of  personal character. My favorite idea about integrity is “doing the right thing when no one is watching.”

As we like to do here at PEAK, let’s review some recent “game film” to learn and improve performance and business results.

Apparently while I was parked last Friday, someone hit my car and left a minor scratch and dent. I discovered it as my wife and I walked into dinner with friends.

I proceeded to moan and complain about the carelessness of the other driver and the $1500 damage they left me with (minor dents are even expensive). I steamed over the whole 2 hour dinner.

Upon our arrival home, still steaming, my wife said, “Hey look there’s a note on your windshield.”

Lo and behold on the note was written, “I think I hit your car. Please call me.”

Integrity in action. Taking personal responsibility. Wow,  how great is that? How rare is that in today’s world?

Why was it that 4 people listened to my complaining and not one of us thought to say, “Maybe they left you a note?”

I’m surprised with myself. I’m generally looking for the best qualities in people. (There’s another blog here for later—my emotions flooded the rational and optimistic parts of my brain).

So if you want to build a business team that produces championship level results, you’ll need to have everyone practicing impeccable personal integrity and character.

It starts with you.

Oh yeah, when I called the gentleman the next morning he said, “I already have the claim opened at State Farm, here is their number.”

That’s old school. Character in action. The cornerstone of greatness.  Let’s all do our best to get back to that!