Is 10,000 Enough?

The 10,000 hour rule summary implies that it takes a minimum of 10,000 hours of focused effort to develop a skill and even more to get to the point where others call a person gifted at that skill. In a normal job, a person works 2,000 hours in one year, and 10,000 in five years.

Nepotism in Family Business

business-successNepotism is the practice of showing favoritism toward one’s family members or friends in economic or employment terms, for example, granting jobs to friends and relatives, without regard to merit. Such practices can and do have damaging effects on businesses. They can erode the support of other employees, reduce the quality and creativity of management and diminish the importance of competence and high-level performance.

In many smaller family-owned businesses, nepotism is viewed in positive terms, often because it is a cheap source of labor, and is considered a synonym for “succession.” This rationale is a mistake. Competence must be the criteria for employment, followed by years of consistent, high level performance that can lead to succession.

Nepotism is neither good nor bad, in and of itself. It only takes on a positive or negative charge in the context of how one has raised one’s children. I believe that the task of being a parent is simply this, “To raise responsible adults who have high self esteem and can function independently in this world.“

This process involves instilling those values that will lead to competent employees — honesty, integrity, dependability, respect for others, being industrious and doing one’s best in every endeavor.

Failure to teach these principles opens the door to children feeling entitled — believing that they are the privileged and should be given everything. This deficiency becomes a ripe incubator for problems to emerge when the child works in the family business. Children who come to the business with an attitude of entitlement will think they are exempt from the rules that apply to “ordinary people.“ They often don’t understand that they must earn their place in the company through hard work and consistently-demonstrated competence. A seemingly small thing like coming to work on time is an example.

Experience […]

Family Employment Policies — Performance & Exit from the Business

business-successFamily business policies should include periodic and scheduled performance evaluations. A performance evaluation presents an opportunity to discuss quality of contribution, work habits, professional growth, demeanor and attitude within the business and with customers. Family members set the standard for the company and their behavior must be a leading example for all employees.

Family Employment Policies — Compensation

business-successFamily business compensation is something that should be addressed within a family business's employment policies. Family members must understand that they will be paid fairly, at fair market rate, for the position they hold. This avoids a family member from obtaining an inflated view of their contribution to the family business.

Family Employment Policies — Entry into the Business

business-successA family employment policy should address what is necessary for a family member to enter into the business. Following specific pre-determined guidelines will help a business hire competent employee who will make a positive contribution to the business. It's important to remember that a job in the family business is not a birthright.

Family Employment Policies — Rules of Engagement

business-successEvery family business should establish a set of family business rules. These rules of engagement should encompass a policy that states how family members will be allowed to participate in the family business. The purpose of family business rules is to guide the business, and it's important to develop a written employment policy long before it is needed.

Hiring Competent Family Members

business-success The hiring of family members is not something that should be taken lightly by any family business. Family members should be required to work for a company not associated with the family business, and gain experience and be successful in that position, before being hired into the family business.