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Entrepreneurial Couples Archive

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Archive - Entrepreneurial Couples Archive

Business, Motivation, Lay Offs

Friday, August 03, 2001


DOES YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS NEED A SHRINK?

I get plenty of puzzled looks when I explain that I am a Psychologist and a Family/Business Consultant. But this makes a lot of sense when you consider half of American businesses are family owned and operated (and even more in the Northwest). For many family firms the business is as much a part of the family and each family member as the family and each family member is a part of the business.

Recognizing that family/businesses are really families with a business identity, as a psychologist I am able to get beneath the surface of some business problems to identify the emotional snags that are hanging up a business decision. There is nothing more frustrating nor expensive than taking weeks and months to develop a new business strategy, only to have it sit there going nowhere because there is a family dispute. When Mom and Dad don't agree, or when Grandpa doesn't approve of his successor, or when Daughter-in-law is at odds with Mother-in-law, or Son has a drug addiction problem, do you really think these things have no affect on the business? Yes many businesses continue to thrive for a while with serious problems like an alcoholic CEO, but what is the legacy for the next generation?

Find out more about how to create a healthy family business in my latest FAMILIES IN BUSINESS column, “Good communication and trust strengthen family and business.” Use the following hotlink: http://www.kmarshack.com/meet/columns/200107a.html

COMPANY OBJECTIVES THAT MOTIVATE

Establishing new business objectives is an important part of your business plan. To motivate people to high levels of performance, objectives should be:

DIFFICULT BUT ACHIEVABLE - Studies have shown that individuals perform better when assigned difficult objectives, rather than easy ones, or simply told to "do your best." To motivate people to high levels of performance, objectives should be challenging. However, if people do not believe that the objectives are achievable they will not be motivated to work towards their fulfillment.

OBSERVABLE AND MEASURABLE. If people are to achieve objectives they must be able to observe and measure their progress on a regular basis. Studies have shown that people perform better when their performance is measured and evaluated.

SPECIFIC, WITH A TARGET DATE. Employees must know exactly what is expected of them and when it is expected to be completed, in order to be motivated. Employees should be given specific objectives with deadlines.

PARTICIPATIVELY SET, WHEN POSSIBLE. Groups that participate in setting their objectives generally out-perform groups with assigned objectives. Get your team involved when you decide on your objectives.

ACCEPTED. For objectives to be met they must be accepted by those responsible for their success. Meeting the above four criteria without acceptance can lead to failure. If employees are not committed to strive for the objective they may not meet it.

These suggestions come from "Entrepreneurial New Ventures," Corman, J., and Lussier, R. N., Dame: a Division of Thomas Learning, 2001, page 7-6. If you’re an entrepreneur and need help in figuring out what your personal and business objectives are, visit my website and use the exercises I’ve designed for entrepreneurs - http://www.executivecouples.com/exercises/index.html.

DOCTOR MARSHACK SAYS BEING LAID OFF CAN BE A GOOD THING!

You’ve been fired or laid off! Surprisingly enough this can be a blessing in disguise. It can motivate you to start your own business like you always dreamed of. Read an excerpt from an interview of myself conducted by Jay MacDonald of Bankrate.com:

"I don't think you have to be a certain personality type or anything like that to be a business owner," says Marshack. "All the research shows that we can't come up with a personality profile for entrepreneurs."

She notes that business success has nothing to do with intelligence, nothing to do with how much backing you have, nothing to do with what industry you're in or what product you're trying to develop.

"The only thing that's relevant is if the person is tenacious," says Marshack. "If they're willing to just hang in there and keep plugging away at it, they will probably be successful.

"You have to believe in yourself."

Follow this hotlink to read the entire article: http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/biz/soho/20010711a.asp?keyword

Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter. For more information on how entrepreneurial couples can make it work at work and at home go to my web site www.entrepreneurialcouples.com. You’ll find exercises, a library of family business articles, on-line consultation and much more. To contact my office call (360) 256-0448 or (503) 222-6678 or email info@kmarshack.com.