How Does Working in a Family Business Change Your Relationships with Family Members?
Jason Frohlich talks about how family relationships evolve when you work together.
Well, how a relationship has evolved between my brother and my father? Well at first, it was difficult. We definitely clashed, we had to, I guess, I don’t know if mark our territory, but accept each other’s personalities, and deal with things in a different manner than just yelling, so it was difficult sometimes, we had pretty big disagreements, but eventually we figured it out, eventually we realized that communicating and collaborating instead of just, kind of, arguing and disagreeing is much more conducive to a successful relationship. So it just takes time, there is no secret recipe, there is no magic sauce. You just have to be patient, you have to be understanding, you have to have empathy and if you have all those things, you figure it out. How has my relationship with my father evolved, or how am I treated equally? At first, he had all the knowledge and I was just kind of young, naïve, idealistic. But eventually I developed a certain expertise that he didn’t have and I validated that expertise a number of times, again with people from the outside, and that helped me establish a certain level of credibility. And from then on, he listened. Sometimes what would happen was I would say something and he would disagree, I’d have to think about it and usually a few weeks later he would come around, if I made a really good suggestion. So now I have a start-up, where I pretty much manage the vision and the strategy and he trusts that I’m making decisions that I feel are the best for the company. And if he needs to challenge me then we’ll have those conversations, but I think I’ve established that credibility in his eyes, or at least I hope so.