The process of building this policy required a great deal of discussion among the Wilson family. They needed to articulate who they were and what they stood for, then they had to craft a statement that would work for them.
For purposes of this blog, I will unpack their statements and point out the underlying principles.
“We are a family committed to our members and descendants being responsible, productive and well-educated citizens who practice the work ethic and make constructive contributions to the local community and the world at large. (1) Each member is encouraged to develop and use self-supporting, marketable skills that contribute to the enhancement of his/her self-esteem and independence. (2) We believe that for a family member to be employed in this company, there must be a legitimate job and the skills to match.” (3)
(1) “Responsible and well-educated.” What a lofty expectation for one’s descendants! Implicit is responsible management of personal affairs.
(2) “Develop and use.” That is certainly clear. Self-supporting, marketable skills – is a strong expectation to be “out in the world, making a contribution,” as well as being responsible for one’s own self-esteem and independence.
(3) “Legitimate job and the skills to match,” a clear message that you must pull your own weight.
“It is the policy of this company to search out and employ, at all levels, (4), individuals who have the ability to manage vertical and horizontal relationships, (5), who show evidence of ability and willingness to take initiative, (6), who exhibit self-confidence and high self-esteem, (7), and who are both independent and responsible in managing their lives and their jobs.”
(4) These expectations apply throughout the company.
(5) “…manage vertical and horizontal relationships…” is about the ability to interact effectively within a corporate structure.
(6) “…ability and willingness to take initiative.” This is about recognizing what needs to be done and doing it.
(7) Self-confidence and self-esteem are qualities found in every valuable employee.
The underlying principles of this section focus heavily on the personal qualities with which the individual shows up in this world. Deep examination of the principles reflects the core values of the family, imply how they support one another and the expectations they have for the interpersonal relationships between and among family members and with non-family employees.
A useful exercise is to list all seven of the noted points, then write one or two statements about how these issues are at work in your family.