What’s your family/business mission for 1996?

By Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D., P.S.

As 1996 is upon us, I suppose everyone is at least giving some superficial thought to new year’s resolutions. When you sing AuldLang Syne at the holiday parties, it’s supposed to be a reminder to put the past behind you and move ahead to a brand new life. Easier said than done. It takes a lot of effort to change old habits, especially if you have the enormous task of running a family firm where the needs of family are tugging at you at the same time you are trying to expand the business.
Struggling as I do every year to come up with my new year’s resolutions, my mind began to wander as I began this column and I thought about the days when I was a girl and my mother would take me shopping in the second hand and antique stores. One of those stores was Powell’s Books.
Most everyone has had the chance to drop into Powell’s bookstore in Portland. Dropping in isn’t really that easy since the store covers several buildings over several blocks. It is truly amazing to think of a used bookstore the size of Powell’s.
Having grown up in the Portland/Vancouver area I had the opportunity to see Powell’s go from a small relatively unnoticed second-hand bookstore to the multimedia enterprise of today. One has to wonder why Powell’s grew and other second-hand bookstores have not. Some of those other bookstores still exist today looking much the same as they did when my mother and I would browse for bargains. But Powell’s is different. They have a Mission.
The fact is that most families in business do not have a mission, or at least have never thought consciously about one. The family business was started because of a need to support the family or to give a creative venue for the entrepreneur. But once this goal was accomplished no further thought has been given about how to grow the business.
The truth is that most family firm owners do not think of themselves as entrepreneurs. Recent studies have shown that family firms do not grow as fast as other enterprises. One reason seems to be that family business owners are in the business of family. They are satisfied with making a good income that can support the family and send the children to college. There is no desire to burn the midnight oil and to become a millionaire.
However, there is a small group of family business owners who really do think of themselves as entrepreneurs. They are interested in making money, lots of money.

Yet they too have a difficult time making the business grow. In other words, their businesses grow no faster, on average, than other family firms. Again we can look to research for the answer.
Family firms fail to grow because of the complexity of balancing personal life and business development. Executives report that the most meaningful aspect of their lives are their family relationships, yet they gain the most rewards from work. How then do you balance these competing demands to make the most of each?
Take a moment to conduct a short exercise with your spouse/business partner. Each of you take a sheet of paper (8.5 x 11 will do) and draw a line down the middle, vertically. On one side write the heading “Business Mission” and on the other side write the heading “Family Mission.”
Now, without censoring your thoughts each of you write down your goals, values, dreams for the business and the family. Don’t worry about what the other person is writing. Don’t worry if business goals conflict with personal goals. Just write what you want and what you value.
Compare your lists and see where they are similar or different. Notice the contradictions and striking agreement. These lists are the beginning of an important development in your family enterprise. These lists represent the rudiments of your Family/Business Mission statement, a statement that will guide you to an integrated and balanced family and business life.
A second step to clarifying your Family/Business mission is to rank order your lists and/or perhaps to weight the items according to their importance to you. Again compare to your spouse’s list. As you work and rework your list, you may notice that there are some basic truths emerging. These truths are the values that you live by and will be the guide for making all future decisions.
Whether you are the type of family/business owner who desires to grow the business to multi-million dollar proportions, or are satisfied with a smaller successful business that supports the family, your mission will help you stay on track. For years, executives and business managers have known the importance of having a mission for the business, but seldom did they include the personal side of a mission.

With a family enterprise there is no way a business can be successful without including the values, goals and dreams of the family (and each individual involved).
As your mission statement shapes up on paper, evaluate whether you are meeting it today. If not, change whatever you are doing now! Always stay true to your mission. This is a key ingredient to all successful enterprises.
If you want more time with your children, design the business to accommodate. If you desire more independence from your spouse, perhaps it is time to restructure the business so that each of you have more distinct and separate roles in the business.
If your goal is to have your son or daughter work for you or even take over the business someday, begin designing a succession plan (even if the child is 12). If you are getting flabby and your cholesterol is high because you never have time away from work to tend to your health, perhaps it’s time to set up a health and fitness program at work.
Whatever direction your mission is taking you, take note and use January 1, 1996 as your start date for rejuvenating your personal life and your business life. Clean out old habits that keep the business from growing, if those habits do not serve the family or the business anymore.
Come to terms with the rate of growth that is comfortable for you; the rate of growth that keeps the family system healthy as well as the business. Not everyone is cut out for billion dollar international corporate life. Then again, if you are the type who wants to make a lot of money, clean up the sloppiness in your life and get clear about your direction. Afterall, how can a business grow if it has no direction?
There has been a lot of talk lately about “corporate culture,” as professionals become aware that businesses have personalities that guide them as much as competition and the bottom line. A family business is no different and in fact is the epitome of the integration of personality and business.
If you want to make 1996 a banner year, think of your family enterprise as a cultural extension of your family. The values that you teach your children, that your parents taught you and that your grandparents founded the family on, are the same values that you surround yourself with at work. Make sure they are really your values and that you stick to your convictions. Happy New Year!

What do women want in a family firm?

By Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D., P.S.

“How do I get my wife to do what I ask her to do at work?” This question was asked by a beleaguered husband/entrepreneur at a recent meeting of Portland CEOs. I have heard this question often and in many formulations. Another version is, “What do women want?”

Today, much is being written about the psychological differences between men and women. While there are differences, some of them profound, there are also many similarities. And when it comes to answering the question of “What do women want?” the answer is simple. They pretty much want what men want.

In a family firm, especially one where husband and wife are co-owners, there are bound to be power struggles. Women as well as men want to feel in charge of their lives. They want to feel valuable, appreciated. We call this concept “Power.” Even children need a sense of personal power, of having some say in the direction of their lives.

A husband who asks, “How do I get my wife to do what I ask her to do at work?” is probably engaged in a power struggle with his wife. Both are worried that if they don’t get their way, they will lose something (perhaps power over their own destinies.)

The solution is simple. Put your fears and your ego away. Ask yourself, how am I interfering in her sense of power? How can I include her in the decision-making process? How can I feel powerful and still give my spouse room to feel the same? In other words, look for a win-win solution.

Couples who work together need to develop a structure for communicating and decision-making that works for them. If you have a consensus model at home, it is difficult to implement a hierarchical model at work. If a husband and wife are used to making decisions together for the family, this is likely to be the best style at work as well. It is confusing and leads to power struggles when a wife is an equal partner at home, but must answer to her boss/husband at work.

Some copreneurs (couple who own, manage and share responsibility for an enterprise) have resolved these problems in creative ways. For example, one solution to power struggles at work is to have separate domains for husband and wife to work in. This way, neither husband nor wife has to answer to the other for the daily operations of their departments.

Another possible solution is to have differing levels of decision-making. Some levels of decision-making in the business require consensus by husband and wife. Other levels of decision-making can be handled by one spouse or the other. And still other levels are strictly the responsibility of the spouses managing that department.

In order to implement a successful plan for decision-making and prevent power struggles, a husband and wife need to attend to their personal relationship first. Relationships based on fear don’t work. There must be respect, love and support to maintain a healthy relationship. There must be room for individual differences. There must be an honest assessment of each other’s strengths so that duties at work can be assigned to produce the most efficient and successful outcome.

Too often copreneurs rely on traditional gender roles to define their duties at work and at home. While this may work for some couples, it can produce power struggles for other couples. If you are not a traditional couple at what makes you that that style is appropriate for work? Or perhaps the traditional model worked for you when you were younger and raising your children, but now the kids are grown, you need a more egalitarian style. As you establish your decision-making structure, consider your optimal marital style, keeping in mind your current values about family, marriage and work.

Jewish families have a tradition that helps them keep their perspective about family and work. On the right side of the entry door of a Jewish home, you will notice a small decorative box. This box holds a Mezuzah, a message from the Bible. The message is a reminder to family members that each day as they return home from work, the center of their lives is the family. In other words, all of one’s accomplishments in the world of work have little meaning if they can’t be shared with one’s family.

Successful family firms and copreneurial venture seem to share this value also. There is a recognition that men and women, husband and wives really want the same thing. To be sure, they want success at work. They want to know that they are in charge of their destinies. But most important, they want to know that their accomplishments are appreciated by the ones they love and who they love.

So the next time you are engaged in a power struggle with your spouse, take a look at how you have been addressing your priorities. If you business decisions are coming at the expense of your intimate relationships, your spouse may be fighting for the survival of the family. Reorient yourself to family first and your business decisions will have the full support of your loved ones.

Emotional information is as important as rational imformation

By Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D., P.S.

“Kitty! Kitty! Kitty” my four-year-old daughter screamed as she watched in horror the cat fall into a raging river and wash away toward the waterfall. We were at a matinee showing of a Disney movie, but the scene evoked such a torrent of feelings from Phoebe that I could not comfort her. She cried through the rest of the movie though the cat was eventually rescued. Upon our return home later, she insisted on checking on our own cat, Tolstoy, to make sure he was safe. And this movie was rated “G.” Later when things had calmed down at home, I pondered why my daughter had been the only child to scream out and cry about the poor cat’s predicament. Indeed, everyone seemed so startled by her outburst, that at first there was stunned silence from the other movie goers; then I heard a few giggles, from adults and children alike. My older daughter, age 7, sat quietly in the theater, not startled by the screen event, but certainly there were other four-year-olds who might have perceived the event as shocking. Daniel Goleman, a psychologist, suggests that these differences among children (and among all people) may be due to your EQ, or Emotional Quotient. Research demonstrates that not all success in life is determined by IQ, but may rest more on how perceptive one is with regard to your emotions. Those of us who feel our feelings, interpret them correctly, and then act upon that information, have an advantage over those of us who rely solely on intellect to make decisions. Among those of you in family firms, a high EQ is vital. Emotions run high in these businesses because of the multiple relationships. For example, it is foolish to ignore that the father-founder may have mixed feelings about a son-employee who is not getting the job done. If the father is unaware of his feelings, or the son for that matter, he may have a difficult time transitioning the son to a more suitable position. Another style seen often in family firms is for the wives and daughters to be the managers of feelings, leaving the men to handle the intellectual facts. Employees know that the wife-/co-owner is the one to seek out when they are having a personal problem. The wife intuitively knows the EQ of the entire company and the husband usually relies on her for counsel.

The only problem with this is that two heads are better than one. The husband is sacrificing valuable information if he is not tapping into his own emotional perceptions. If it’s true, as Goleman suggests, that those of us with a high EQ are more successful, how do we develop this side of ourselves? Then, how do we integrate this information with our reason? It appears to be a matter of mastering these three steps: (1) feeling your feelings; (2) interpreting your feelings correctly; and (3) acting upon the feeling information. Because you are a living, breathing human being, you are capable of feelings, both physical and emotional. It doesn’t take long to acknowledge those feelings and begin to name them. Feelings are things like joy, irritation, hunger, fatigue, boredom, confusion, pain, anticipation, pride, embarrassment, tension, and so on. The list is endless and I often advise my clients to get a thesaurus or dictionary and copy down as many “feeling” words as they can find. It is important to refine your repertoire of feelings and feeling words so that you can expand your consciousness about your EQ. It is also important to remember that you always feel your feelings first. Because of how you are “wired” thoughts or interpretations come after feelings. So it is useful to notice those feelings consciously before your conscious mind decides to ignore them or misinterpret them. The second step is interpreting those feelings that you have just noticed, which is no easy feat. The key element here is to realize that feelings are basically neutral. That is, they are neither good nor bad; they are just feedback. For example, if you haven’t eaten for several hours, you will feel hungry. At first the feeling isn’t unpleasant, but if you don’t eat for days, hunger can be painful. The feeling of hunger is a message that you need to attend to your body by feeding it. But the hunger pangs should not be interpreted as punishment, just because they are unpleasant. Anger is another example. Anger may feel unpleasant to you and therefore, something to suppress.

However, the feeling of anger is neither good nor bad; it is just feedback about something that is important for you to know. Try to view all of your feelings that way. They are feedback in feeling-form about your environment. One person may be triggered to feel angry about something, while another may be triggered to laugh. Feelings are your characteristic way of sensing your environment. This brings us to step three, acting upon the information you have interpreted from your feelings. In the case of hunger or fatigue, a decision is relatively simple to satisfy those basic needs. But decision making is more complex when the feelings are part of a financial plan for your business, or whether to fire an employee. This is where EQ really helps. Those individuals who have trusted their EQ throughout childhood and have refined and developed those skills into adult life, are in a much better position to make successful decisions. While there is nothing like practice and life experience, here are a few basic tips to improve your decision making by including relevant feeling information. 1. Always checkout your feelings before making any decision. 2. Inquire after another’s feelings before proceeding to decision making. 3. Check your feelings again after arriving at the decision. 4. Remember that “feeling good” about something doesn’t always mean that the decision is correct. 5. Be willing to acknowledge that you are afraid or angry or confused. Hiding these feelings from yourself may deny you powerful and necessary information. My daughter knew that there was something terribly wrong when the cat fell into the river and she felt the shock of it throughout her body. Acknowledging the shock and allowing it to be there, lead her to a decision to check on her own pet back at home. If bad things can happen to a cat in the movie, they can happen to her kitty. Successful decision-makers use the same process as Phoebe did with the Disney movie experience. Many of you know those successful people who seem always to be in the right place at the right time. They aren’t really any smarter than you are, but probably they trust an “inner knowing” based upon using all of the resources available to them, emotional, mental, physical and even spiritual.

The Incredible Invisible Woman

By Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D., P.S.

Women in business, one of the fastest growing segments of the self-employed, and yet we know very little about them. Half of America’s workers are women. More and more women are entering the workplace and more and more women are entering at the business and professional level than ever before.

Yet when Juanita Ohanian applied for a business loan at the First Women’s National Bank in Rockville Maryland, she was denied the loan unless she had her husband’s signature. Ohanian had operated her commercial offset printing and photocopying business for 12 years. The business was financially secure and she was earning twice her husband’s salary!

In spite of their numbers in the work place, women such as Ohanian are not always taken seriously when it comes to running a business. I don’t think that lenders are discriminating because of gender necessarily. It’s probably more because they don’t know how to relate to women business onwers. Women have different values and these values are showing up in how women design their businesses.

Women business owners, for example, often work with their husbands. They are more likely than men to accommodate their work schedules around family needs. For example, Hannah Anderson a clothing retailer in Portland, has on site day care and flexi-time for it’s workers. There are also many women business owners working from their homes as telecommuters.

My daughters have watched their mother develop her business from home. When they were babies, they slept in the bassinet next to my desk. Occasionally I would even take one them to business meetings, rocking her in her baby carrier, as I took notes.

When my daughter Bianca was about 5, I heard her call out to me as she passed me in the kitchen, “Bye, Bye Mommy; I’m going to a meeting.” She was dressed in an apron and high heels (my castoffs), pushing her doll carriage with one hand and carrying a briefcase in the other. (Actually the briefcase was a blue plastic crayola marker case but she has quite an imagination.)

This blending of family and work roles is commonly seen in couple-owned and family-owned enterprises. Yet women who attempt to blend both roles must fight invisibility. For example, I lost a contract to provide certain psychological services because my office is at home. I was told that home offices are not professional enough. However, I always thought I was clever to find a way to be with my family and still develop my career interests. Obviously this is not a value shared by the contractor.

Sometimes women reinforce this invisibility themselves. In an effort to maintain her role as wife and her role as business owner a woman may feel she has to take a “backseat” to her husband. For example, I asked a co-entrepreneurial couple to tell me their official business titles. Although the wife had started the business five years before her husband joined her, she told me she was a “sales associate,” while her husband said he was “vice president.”

Other copreneurial wives tell me that they share ownership of the business equally with their husbands, yet they rarely list their title as “owner” or “president.” Usually they are listed as “secretary” or “treasurer.” Their husbands on the other hand, frequently list themselves as “co-owner.” So it appears that the need to hold back is coming from the wives, not the husbands.

Every so often I get a call from a copreneurial wife asking for help with her marriage. She and her husband are struggling with balancing their personal relationship and their business partnership. Whether or not the wife was the business founder, she is usually the one with the most trouble accepting the power struggle with her husband. Men seem more comfortable with power negotiations and are at a loss as to why their wives are distressed.

Simply the wife has to learn to be assertive with her husband. She must draw boundaries around her turf. This is something that men do all of the time, but women may feel that they are being too “bossy.” Women need to realize that most of the time their husbands are not offended by clear, assertive, decisive actions. In fact the chief complaint I hear from copreneurial husbands is that their wive’s don’t speak up! So he doesn’t know what she wants, nor how to help her get it.

If women business owners are to be more visible, they need to be bold and speak up. They need to educate lenders and others about the values of blending family and work life. They need to teach their daughters how to be true to her feminine spirit and yet develop her creative side through career, professional and business.

Last year there was a great deal of controversy about the first national “Take Your Daughter to Work Day.” Some said that sons should have equal time. While it is valid that a son should have the opportunity to learn about his mother’s and father’s careers, daughters need an extra helping hand right now.

To bust the myth of invisible working women, business owners and others, girls need to see women at work. They need to be educated about how to successfully balance the demands of family life and work life. Women business owners are in a wonderful position to do just that.

Management Style in the Family Firm

By Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D., P.S.

When she was about six, I overheard my eldest daughter describing my work to one of her school friends. She said, “A psychologist is a mommy who sees clients in the basement.” At the time my office was located in the basement of my home, remodeled for just that purpose. And since I work often at home, my daughter has been able to see me in many of my roles, the most important to her of course is that of mommy.

Being the owner-manager of a family firm requires juggling many roles too, not just with family members but with your employees as well. How you handle your marital and family obligations affects your management style with employees and vice versa. For example, in family firms where you are working with your spouse, you must assess your style in three arenas, (1) marital, (2) parenting, and (3) business management. Furthermore, you must assess the integration of these three styles.

Let’s take marital style first. Are you both leaders? Is one the leader and the other the support person? Does the style change depending upon the context? Are you a team? Or are you both separate and dedicated to your own spheres? Does your marital style differ greatly from your parenting style or your management style?

Marital partners find each other for myriad reasons. Sometimes we are attracted to opposites. Sometimes we want someone like Mom. Other times we seek a complementary relationship. Whatever your marital style, know it. Don’t assume that it is irrelevant in your family firm. This style shows in the board room and on the production floor. If it is incompatible with the business, then you will have many problems. Employees sense the discrepancies. They know when there has been a marital fight.

If you have children whether they work in the business or not, you need to know your parenting style too. Your parenting style is affected by your business management style and vice versa. We learn a lot from our children about human behavior. Those lessons are translated to the work place.

Are you an authoritarian parent? One business owner orders his family around at home just as he does his employees at work. His wife and children don’t like it and are in fact a bit intimidated by him, but he says he can’t help himself. Are you permissive? Permissive parents often have children who are rebellious because they have always had to make their own decisions. Are you authoritative? This type of parent generally has a good balance in that they make decisions as the leader of the family, but include children when appropriate so that the children learn gradually the responsibilities of adulthood.

Parenting style is obviously related to marital style. If two marital partners do not think alike about parenting, there will be a disorganized and perhaps very depressed family. Discussing your differences about parenting and looking for a united plan is the best thing you can do for the family structure. Equally so, it is important that you determine if you are treating employees as you would your children.

Your management style at work is the third aspect of familybusiness style that needs to be evaluated. One way to categorize business leaders is as one of four styles: (1) telling, (2) selling, (3) participative, (4) delegating. Which are you? Are you apt to tell employees what to do? Or do you build a good case for what they should do? Or do you include employees or other managers in the process of developing new business? Finally, are you inclined to run the show yourself but delegate tasks to team members?

Americans have been successful in the world marketplace because of our emphasis on the “rugged individualist.” We have been willing to fight to protect the rights of the individual. But as we move into the 21st century, Americans are beginning to realize that we are all part of one planet and one global economy. We cannot afford to be isolationists. We have influence and others influence us. As members of a family firm, you are in the position of understanding these influences better than most. A family/business is a delicate balance of interacting systems such as the marriage, the family, and the business. How you manage and respond to these systems will determine your success.

An authoritarian father with a “telling” business management style and a traditional marriage characterizes the entrepreneurs of the 1940s. But because that model is so dominant many family business members don’t know what other styles exist. If following in Dad’s footsteps works for you, then look no further. But if you desire alternative styles to keep up with the changes in your business and your personal life, then look for answers to the questions in this article.

First, accept who you are. Whatever your style it is probably the most comfortable way for you to be. This doesn’t mean there is no room for improvement. But it’s best to start with who you are and then to build marital, parental and management styles around your personality.

Second, accept your spouse’s style too. She or he has developed a certain personality that is unlikely to change. Rather you two are looking for ways for both of you to realize your full potential. Don’t compromise before you have explored all of the ways for both of you to be fully who you are in the marriage and as parents.

Third, when considering a parenting style, not only do you consider your partner’s style, but you must also include the personalities and needs of your children. Most parents are astounded at how wildly different each one of their children are. While a permissive style may be appropriate for one child, another may require more authority.

Fourth, remember that your management style at work is more related to your marital and parenting styles than you realize. It is in the family that we first learn to relate to others. We learn about male/female relationships from our mothers and fathers. We learn about power and control and decision making too. We learn about love and friendship and sibling rivalry or competition. These early lessons shape us for the rest of our lives. How you treat employees and how you want them to treat you is dependent upon your understanding and utilization of these early lessons.

Virginia Satir, a noted family therapist once said that parents are in the business of “People Making.” In a family/business I think this is true in more ways than one. As parents, certainly your children are shaped by the family firm, just as my daughter sees me as a mommy who works in the basement. And as family business owners and managers your employees are also shaped by your marital/parenting/management style. You can cultivate the best in your people or something much less desirable. Understanding your unique management style in the workplace and how you have integrated past and present family lessons into a Family/Business will help you to be flexible and to adapt to the requirements of the 21st century.

Is your conscious your friend or enemy?

By Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D., P.S.

Captain Picard of the Star Ship Enterprise is intent on the screen before him. He is standing firm and tall. His jaw is set and the tendons in his neck are extended. He is speaking in a stern and captainly tone to the Romulan captain on the enemy vessel. As the Romulan replies, Picard turns his ear toward Counselor Troi, who is standing on his left on the bridge of the Enterprise. He asks her advice, her empathic understanding of the meaning behind the Romulan’s words. She nods knowingly and advises the Captain that the Romulan is speaking the truth, but that he is holding something back…that he is scared, though no signs of it show on his face nor in the tone of his voice. With this new information the Captain makes a bold decision. Then he turns to Number One and gives the command that saves the day. Those of you who are Trekkies relish these tense moments, fantasizing that you too are aboard the Enterprise playing the deadly games that the crew of Star Trek always win. But even if you are not a Trekkie, the allegories of Star Trek are remarkable. The relationship between Captain Picard and Counsellor Troi represents the importance of team work, or utilizing the talents of several people in making decisions for the whole. The relationship can also be viewed as the one we have within ourselves; the relationship we have with our conscious and unconscious minds, or with our intuitive and our analytical minds. Like Picard you can have a healthy relationship with your unconscious or intuition. You can trust her as he does with Counselor Troi. Or you can resist her input because you don’t understand. And with lack of understanding, you can conjure up fear or anger. Picard accepts Troi’s advice as valid feedback; incorporates it into his “map of reality” and creatively arrives at a decision. Then he entrusts that decision to his Number One to carry out for the benefit of the entire crew.

The third part of the equation for psychological health is to have the courage and to take action, like Number One. Creating a healthy balance between your unconscious and conscious minds is what we call Mental Health. Mental health is not just something that’s an extra. It is vital if you want to run your family Enterprise just as Captain Picard does his starship. Being healthy psychologically means being able to utilize all of your mental resources. This requires the same attention and commitment as does your daily physical work out. If you miss a day at the gym, you can be set back for weeks. If you are inattentive of your psychological and emotional health, you can be set back for life. A few years ago we heard the expression, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Unfortunately many people take this attitude with their mental health. Only in times of crisis do they seek professional consultation. Similarly to waiting until after you have a heart attack to start eating and exercising properly, you may wait too long to attend to your psychological health until the dysfunction causes permanent damage. Or perhaps you have the attitude that you can handle any problem that comes your way; that in fact, you should not ever ask for help. Week after week on Star Trek we are witness to characters who try to go it alone and always the Enterprise outwits them because Captain Picard relies on his trusted advisers. Attending to your mental health is the willingness to “Boldly go where no one has gone before.” Hire a psychologist. Explore that uncharted unconscious of yours to discover your latent talents or unresolved conflicts. Don’t leave your weaknesses there for others to misunderstand or abuse. There is a Counselor Troi inside of you waiting to teach you about yourself and others. People who regularly attend to their psychological health are not only stronger emotionally, but they require less physical health care.

Research has shown that psychotherapy reduces medical and surgical costs in 85% of the studies. Also the research has demonstrated that among those individuals who are regular users of psychotherapy, they are the group who use medical and surgical procedures the least. Rather than the crisis management attitude of waiting until you are broken, it makes more sense to trust the humanistic slogan: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE SICK TO GET BETTER. Individuals who attend to their psychological health prevent illness and improve their own personal well being. You will find that utilizing the full range of your conscious and unconscious talents, unburdened by neurotic hangups, creates opportunities that you never knew were there before. A healthy mind also draws to you other healthy people. In a family business or any endeavor for that matter, having mentally healthy employees, coworkers and family members can only improve business functioning. The old “if it ain’t broke; don’t fix it” mentality leads to mediocrity. In a family enterprise where there are two goals, that of nurturing a family and keeping the business competitive, there is no room for mediocrity. Within any average are extremes of excellence and extremes of inadequate performance. To compare yourselves to others is a waste of time. Instead ask yourself “how can I achieve excellence?” The answer is a simple one. Take charge of your Starship Family Enterprise as Captain Picard would do. Engage in psychotherapy to enhance your analytical and intuitive abilities. Cultivate your inner resources until they are healthy so that you can trust the inner guidance (Counselor Troi). Using your conscious and unconscious awareness as a team, you will have multiplied many times over the mental resources available to you. With this dynamic team in place, Number One (i.e., family members, managers, employees) is ready to carry out your ideas and plans in ways that only could have been dreamed before. Three to beam up!

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