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.