The answer is in the question itself: The Family.  It has a leader and another member of the family.

Who discuss the issues and makes decisions?  The non-family business has a CEO and a board of directors.

The two entities can discuss business issues, but the CEO may make the decision alone.

A board of directors is not a family.

In a board meeting, a family is almost never referred to.  So, what does that really mean in a business?

The business exists to augment the money of the investors of the business not a particular family.

The focus is money not family.  Money is impersonal.  It has political faces and numbers on the bills.

People struggle to get more, and it is the amount that maters as long a everyone is nice to each other.

The family of a family business is different.

Money in a family is a means to many ends, not an end in itself.  Its purpose is to see its members grow

And achieve the things they value.  That makes a family business simpler and more complicated.

It is simpler because fewer people are involved in just counting the money.  But more complicated

Because what the money does is different for each member.  Each member has their own needs

Which compete with every other member’s needs.  And as there is seldom enough money to go around

To satisfy everyone, compromises must be made.  Those compromises take time and effort and

Because family unity is important

Where each depends on the other many times a day, every member learns to value and respect

Each other’s needs and abilities.  That respect and unity changes the individuals in the family business.

They become more like a team than simply different individuals.  Being familiar with each other they

Anticipate values and behavior doing things more quickly and accurately bringing each other along when

A change is necessary, or a mistake is made.  More often the team laughs instead of argues.  Sings

Instead of grumbles.  Shares instead of divides.  Grows closer instead of glowers.  Welcomes instead of


And that is not just in their family

That is how they respond to others too.  Including members of other families in their work and goals,

Building larger communities so their businesses can work together, families can worship together and

Can live the original “American Way”

It was families who fought together and gained the independence of America from England, opened the

Frontier welcomed citizens from other countries to freedom and settled 50 states. The American Way.

Yes, we need to put away our guns

And our prejudices

And learn how to disinfect the sick so we can live together again.  But family businesses are surviving

Where some bigger businesses fear to tread.  Knowing how to live and work in a family is still part of

The American Way

The rest of us need to learn how to grow family values in difficult times and in the face of billion-dollar

Businesses, so the American way is alive and strong again in the places where it started and growing in

the places where it needs to be found, in everyone’s heart and soul.