I read what you advised the father who could not tell his son that he could not be CEO (May 27, 2021), ”says my friend Wes (not his real name) in the mid-50s. “We also have a problem. Not with telling, but with qualifications. My dad bluntly told my brother Joe that he could not be the successor, and I agree. ”
“Why not?” I’m asking. “Customers like Joe and he’s a good face for your business. Do you want to be the sequel so you found fault with Joe? ”
“No,” Wes says. “My father is preparing my second brother Ted to take over in five years. I want to stay in economics, and when we professionalize, my title will be CFO. Joe continues as sales director. In this pandemic, we have more time to talk to each other, so we try to restructure better. ”
“It’s wise in your family to prepare for succession now,” I say. “But why do you feel Joe can’t lead?”
Wes sugar. “He is popular with his team and with customers. But he’s too nice. He gives in to client and vendor requests to extend payments, and he is a sucker when his people ask for loans. ”
“Do customers standardize payments? Do his people define loans? ”
“Customers and suppliers pay, even if it takes longer than we want,” Wes says. “No problem there. But an employee left us before repaying his loan. It’s too much trouble to go after him, but my father blamed Joe. ”
“Ask Human Resources (HR) to create employee guidelines for loans so you don’t set a bad precedent,” I say. ‘But in this pandemic, if the loan is necessary, to say health, be merciful if you can. Your business is doing well, you can afford to be kind to your people. ”
“Mabait naman kami (we are kind),” says Wes. “But Joe is too nice, even as a child, and people benefit from it. Look, he’s good at business, his team did well in the pandemic, he’s my dad’s natural successor. But if he is the head, malulugi kami (we go bankrupt). ”
“Nalulugi ba talaga kayo?” I’m asking. “What do your numbers say?”
“We are not yet professionalized, we still need to digitize sales and financial figures. But some employees complain to Joe, and instead of telling them to get things done, he wastes time helping them. Others have a sobbing story and he apologizes to them. He is also too generous with money. He does so many things, it’s a miracle he’s not burned out! ”
I tell Wes that giving -burnout is often a myth. “By consistently disregarding their selfish impulses … to help others, donors had strengthened their psychological muscles,” says Wharton professor Adam Grant in his book, Give and Take.
“Donors gain an advantage by controlling their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Over time, building strength will help, just as weightlifting builds muscle, ”adds Grant.
“If employees perceive that you, your father, your brother treat people differently, they will turn to the more sympathetic one,” I say. “Strengthen HR so that your people do not try to play him off against the rest of you. As a family, you must present an overall front to the employees, in the same way that parents must be consistent in the treatment of their children – otherwise children will play the mother against the father, etc. “
“You can see why Joe needs to be restrained,” Wes says. “He’s too soft.”
“But Joe should not stop giving,” I say. “He just needs to be smarter about doing it.”
In 2000, Harvard economist Arthur Brooks examined the income and charities of 30,000 Americans. The richer they became, the more amounts they gave.
“Something much more interesting happened,” Grant says. “For every $ 1 in extra charitable benefits, the income was $ 3.75 higher. Giving actually gave way to making people richer … Imagine you and I earning $ 80,000 a year. I donate $ 1,600 to charity; you give $ 2,500 … According to the evidence, you’re on your way to earning $ 3,375 more … in the coming year. Surprising as it may seem, people who give more earn more. ”
“We are a business, not a charity,” Wes says. “Tit for tat.”
“According to Grant, no.”
Continued: Why Donors Win
Queena N. Lee-Chua is on the board of Ateneo’s Family Business Center. Get her book “All in the Family Business” via Lazada or the e-book version Amazon, Google Play, Apple iBooks. Contact the author at [email protected]
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4:00 and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.