Unhealthy and unregulated sibling rivalry can literally kill a family business. I’ve seen it firsthand.
Sibling rivalry is hardwired deep inside our bones. I know because I feel it with my own brother and, quite honestly, feel it with some of my best friends. It’s like this innate desire to compete with some of the people we are the closest to.
I don’t think of myself as a highly competitive person and yet my wife needles me about how much I apparently enjoyed winning in our friendly card game amongst friends. I act like I don’t know what she’s talking about.
Rather than trying to pretend rivalry isn’t there — what we need to do is to notice that it’s within us and not allow it to cause unproductive energy and behaviors. Remember, SELF AWARENESS is one of the fundamental skills we help all of our Family Business Performance Center participants develop.
Awareness is the first step. Mindfulness and the ability to choose a different mindset is the second step toward becoming a healthier and happier family.
Sibling rivalry left unchecked can lead to really counterproductive and damaging behaviors. Rivalries can become part of the fabric of the family business leading to unhealthy competition between business units.
Many families grew up playing games and competing with each other. The world of business is competitive and rewards competitive spirit. In the case of sibling rivalry however, it’s a form of competition that isn’t always totally productive for the business.
I’ve experienced sibling rivalry in some family businesses that is noticeably palpable between departments and branches. The staff looks at each other shaking their head wondering why the siblings can’t see the wedge the rivalry is creating.
The business needs to focus all of its energy on competing with its competitors not its teammates!
Here’s a short video that will give your family our step-by-step recipe for minimizing sibling rivalry in the business.
Make a commitment to having awareness about when competitive spirit is healthy and when it’s counterproductive.
In the meantime I’ll make a commitment to being happy-go-lucky whether I’m winning or losing in our weekend card game. I promise not to gloat when I’m winning or pout when I’m losing. You can hold me accountable to that!