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UFB Issue #018 Personal development coach, career development, outplace
November 06, 2003
"The key to family business success"

A free monthly e-zine with articles and tips from Family Business Experts who understand family values and business systems.



November 6, 2003 Issue #018 Family Business Experts ISSN 1546-5640

http://www.family-business-experts.com

http://www.familybusinessexperts.com



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In This Issue...

1. Our Managing Director Announces -

2. Business first family...Family first business

Personal development coach, career development, outplacement

3. Best Practices

Personal development coach, career development, outplacement - cont'd

4. Around the Family Business Experts web sites



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1. Our Managing Director Announces -

This month there are two exciting topics to share with you.

I was able to interview Linda Matias, the national president of the Resume Writers' Association and a career services professional.

Whether it is the question of family members working in the family business, or the family business hiring outside executives to fill vital roles, the unique problems and opportunities of family businesses always present challenges.

Linda shares some tremendous insights that I'm sure you will find interesting and thought-provoking. Since her comments relate to both family and family business matters as well as best business practices, the interview spans both sections in this issue.

As some of you know, our family-business-experts site is built and maintained using Site Build It! It now ranks as the 120,976-most-visited site, which doesn't sound like much of a ranking - until you consider that there are 16.6 million ranked sites. So, it is in the top 1%!

Our web master, David Jones, has just been recognized by Site Build It! as a SBI! Certified Web Master - one of only 12 world-wide and one of only 7 in the United States. Congratulations, David!

I asked David to comment and he said: "Don, I'm going to be really busy! Site Build It! is in a class of its own in making it easy for even small-small - 1-10 employee - businesses to get an online presence. Some can do it on their own with just a bit of help, but more are turning to people like me to do most of it for them, since their prime job is to run their business."

He continued..."And it is essential that small and local businesses do get a web presence... otherwise they lose out to their competition. A landscaper here in Florida might think 'But I don't have any customers in Toledo, Ohio or Tokyo, Japan, so why would I need to be online?' Well, his customers right here at home use Google and other engines instead of the bulky Yellow Pages to find 'landscaper Panama City'. If he doesn't have a web site that gets traffic by being listed in the search engines, he's just lost out."

He concluded our short call with: "Did you know that your Site Build It! site costs less per year than a Yellow Pages ad?... And we can change it as often as you want to make it perfectly suited to your clients. By the way, I will make time to continue moving our 'starting online business' section over to its own site [www.starting-online-business.com] and developing a 'Local Business Online' section because so many of your clients and prospects need good, accurate information in this area. Cheers!"



Whether to contribute, challenge (or hopefully even praise) our newsletter, I encourage you to contact me directly Don, or our editor David.
Enjoy, and here's wishing you, your family, your clients... much success!

Don Schwerzler, Managing Director
Family Business Experts


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2. Business first family...Family first business:

Personal development coach, career development, outplacement

Family Business Experts: Tell us about yourself...

Linda Matias:

Recognized as a career expert, I bring a wealth of experience to the career services field. I have been sought out for my knowledge of the employment market, outplacement, job search strategies, interview preparation, and resume writing, quoted a number of times in The Wall Street Journal, New York Newsday, Newsweek, and HR-esource.com. I am President of CareerStrides and the National Resume Writers' Association.

I have authored, "Parting Ways: Your Guide to Employees Outplacement Services," subtitled "Learn about outplacement services, how to select the right firm and effectively handle employee notifications." I am also a contributor to several nationally published career-related books for major publishers including JIST Publications, McGraw-Hill, Simon and Schuster, and Adam Media Corporation.

In maintaining my commitment to the client, I stay abreast of industry and economic trends through ongoing education and strive to achieve the highest designations in the career services field. In this area, I have surpassed many, earning the Job & Career Transition Coach (JCTC) and Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP). As a certified career professional, I have special expertise in using a comprehensive coaching and job search framework to help clients in their transition and career development.

FBE:

In a recent article, published on the Internet, you described the difference between a conventional resume and an executive resume. For a family business owner, who is reviewing resumes as part of the process for recruiting a senior level non-family exec, what personal traits would you recommend the business owner be looking for?

LM:

The first step in successfully recruiting an executive is for the FOB to determine their needs. Instead of searching for a candidate that they can mold, they should hire a candidate that shares their vision and values.

As I stated in my article, the following intangible qualities promote the growth of any organization:

* Visionary - An "idea person" that challenges traditional ways of conducting business, and is willing to take on calculated risks. Demonstrated ability to think strategically, act tactically and have the strength of character to motivate others to buy into his or her ideas, concepts and values.

* Professional Integrity - A person who understands the value of honesty, accountability and trust in a business environment.

* Charisma - Knack for captivating an audience, having a presence that commands respect and has a natural ability to hold the interest of the listener.

* Emotional self-control - Someone who anticipates challenges and overcomes those that are unanticipated.

* Effective use of inner resources - A person that trusts his or her gut instincts and takes the initiative to drive change.

* Flexible Communication Style - The ability to assess a situation, and react to it appropriately.

FBE:

Executives hired into a family-owned business (FOB) often fail because the FOB lacks the infrastructure usually found in non-family businesses. What suggestions would you have for an exec being recruited by a family business? What are the pitfalls?

LM:

The executive should ask direct questions to find out the FOB's objectives and infrastructure model. They should consider asking the following questions:

1. What are the challenges that are facing the company today, and how do you see my role in overcoming those challenges?

2. What is the company's five-year plan?

3. How would you describe the culture of your business?

4. Tell me about the challenges you faced with past executives who were non-family members.

Asking specific questions allows the executive to make an educated decision on whether or not to accept the position.

FBE:

Management training and enhancement programs are not as common in FOBs as in non-family businesses. What tips would you have for managers interested in sharpening their management skills when internal training programs are not available?

LM:

The Company could hire a corporate coach to come in and train the manager, and I am sure that local colleges have programs in which the manager can attend.

FBE:

We have seen cases where adult children in a FOB would like to seek employment elsewhere. However, their resumes (working for mom and dad for a long period of time) do not create the same interest with prospective employers. Why is that? What can they do about that?

LM:

There is a perception that adult children who work in the family business did not "earn their stripes." Fortunately there is a way to position an adult child positively within the job search market. For example, if the resume is rich with accomplishments, key strengths and marketable skills, a potential employer is sure to notice the value the adult child brings to the table.

FBE:

We recommend family businesses should encourage their kids to work outside of the family business for 2-5 years before joining the family firm. What are the benefits of this approach for the FOB and for the kids?

LM: That is such wonderful advice! It is important for the kids to come into their own, that they get to experience work beyond the parameters of the family business. It also gives them an opportunity to make an educated decision as to whether he or she wants to work in the family business.



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3. Best Practices

Personal development coach, career development, outplacement - cont'd

FBE:

When a FOB decides to hire you as a personal development coach for the FOB - where do you start?

LM:

We start the process with assessments that are designed to assess an individual's strengths and possible limitations. Using the assessment as a foundation, we develop an action plan for increasing productivity and overall effectiveness. By the time the process is over, individuals are better prepared to design their career and to adapt into a their position.

FBE:

What tips would you offer to a FOB when one of the kids is under performing.

LM:

Tricky question. It is always difficult telling anyone they are under performing let alone one's own child. The assessment that I just mentioned layouts a framework that will allow the parents to understand what makes their adult child tick. It is a valuable tool in finding effective ways to resolve differences because it is easier for the parent to set expectations when he or she understands the work style preferences of their child.

An understanding of individual work styles can assist the parent in showing them how to work more productively with their child, and revitalize their performance.

FBE:

If a decision is made to fire the kid - how should it be done so the damage to the family relationship is minimized?

LM:

If there is open communication from the start, the potential to cause a family rift after a termination is greatly reduced. I find that if the parent approaches the under performing child and together they set up a three month plan, with the understanding that if the child performance does not improve, they will be let go. This way, there aren't any surprises or hurt feelings because this was a plan they devised together.

FBE:

It is not uncommon for a kid to leave the FOB and in a few years return back to the FOB. What recommendations do you have for the parents and kids facing this situation?

LM:

For the sake of the business and the kid's professional growth, parents should think carefully about allowing their kid to use the FOB as a crutch. Before the kid is hired back, the parent should set specific guidelines and expectations. This is where a clear separation of business and family needs to be drawn.

It is important for a FOB to hire employees - whether they are family members or not - that are committed to the growth of the company.

FBE:

Kids in a FOB often complain that their salaries are not competitive as their counterparts in non-family businesses. Do you agree?

LM:

Salary is always a touchy subject. It is difficult to provide a yes or no answer because each FOB is different. The best way to approach salary is by setting a pay policy that is fair for both family and non-family members. Doing so will avoid misunderstandings.

If this interview touches concerns of yours, e-mail Don.

4. Around the Family Business Experts web sites

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