From Janet in Tampa
I’ve been with my dad and the family business for six years. It’s really frustrating because it seems like we always have to do things his way in every situation. I try to bring up what I think are good ideas, but he resists and ultimately we always go his way. What can I do?
One of the first things to do is to understand that dad is doing it his way because it’s the way he’s comfortable with, and usually the way that has gotten him to where he is. We can’t blame him for that.
What you need to do is try to help dad see that getting to do things your way a time or two will help you in your personal confidence and satisfaction of working in the business. It’s not about whether their way is the right way or not, it’s about you building your own identity and autonomy as you develop as a businessperson.
Try to help them see that concept and then begin to look for “safe bets” (less risky ideas) where you can begin to try out some of your ideas. Don’t give up. Before you know it you’ll be the parent and your kids will be trying out their new ideas on you!