Inside the Mind of a 23 Year Old Indian NextGen

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Kanishka Arumugam

Kanishka Arumugam is the perfect example of the kind of NextGen this blog is all about. Young entrepreneurial people with a can do aptitude; an authentic leader that knows what he wants from life and goes for it. In this interview, this young NextGen surprised me with his maturity and wisdom. Kanishka Arumugam shares his family story and hopes for the future. Please, enjoy it!

1. Kanishka Arumugam tell me about you and your family business, Deccan Pumps Group, in India

I am from Coimbatore, an industrial and entrepreneurial city in south India, dubbed as pump city of Asia, known for its world class Pump Manufacturers, Textile Industries, International Educational Institutions, and also an emerging IT hub.

I am fortunate to be a second generation member of the Deccan Pumps Group. I grew up around the business and decided to be an entrepreneur from a very young age and this passion drove me to learn from organizations around the globe. Thanks to my prestigious alma maters of Sheffield, Leeds and Stanford Universities, that groomed me in many ways.

My father P. Arumugam and his uncle K.K. Veluchamy founded Deccan Pumps 32 years ago with a mission to make the life of farmers better by manufacturing superior reliability pumps. Today Deccan is a closely held conservative group with an annual turnover of around Rs 100 core focused on pumps also with its presence on Fluid Handling Distribution, Real Estate and Education. The brand is one among the Top 5 manufacturers of submersible pumps in the country and it remains Asia’s largest producer of vertical open well submersible pumps.

My father is a keen philanthropist. He runs a home for elders, has a desire to turn his ancestry farm into a model agricultural unit, and spends time in upgrading the basic infrastructure of his home village.

He believes not in chasing numbers but in giving back to society in as many ways as possible. Recently, he undertook a not-for-profit initiative and incepted the Info Institute of Engineering, along with his friends, mainly for the first generation learners of the country.

One can have simple living and be content but when it comes to business I believe one should never think twice about making it bigger. And this is what my dad and I often argue about. However such arguments help me evolve and I get to know the perceptions of the previous generation and absorb whatever is suitable in the current scenario.

Last year, after my graduation, I spent time with a few European family owned manufacturers and also had a short stint at Xylem, a non-family owned American company, the world’s largest producer of pumps and systems. Its major competitor was a Danish family owned company.

I was awestruck to learn how a family tradition could bloom into an industry that gives its competitors a tough time.

2. What’s your thoughts on building a Socially Responsible Company?

As mentioned earlier, a few years ago I often wondered why my father started a not- for- profit engineering college, a home for the elderly, rural development programs and similar activities instead of just growing the business. But now I realize that companies which are long lasting have a broader outlook and contribute to society in crucial fields such as education, healthcare, women empowerment and for a lot of other important social causes. The Forbes, Godrej, TATAs, Thermax and Wadias, are all living examples of this in India.

Last month when I was in Germany I visited my friend’s family owned company VIEGA, a fifth generation company which is into pipes and systems. It was interesting to learn how the family and business have involved the small town of Anttendorn in a larger way and how the feeling of goodness has been spread across from the taxi drivers of the company. Also the spirit of entrepreneurship and drive for growth is clearly seen in the fifth generation more than in the previous generations.

It is very essential for all the next generation family members to involve the society and community at large, in which they operate, and also to help the underprivileged and make the world a better place. A company’s purpose is just not to acquire wealth and markets but also to contribute to the society in which they live. This is an important value in creating long lasting organizations.

What do you think about Value system in a family operated company?

Care for the members (employees), humility, simple living with high thinking, involving the society, respect and care for the underprivileged, professional management with family members on board and taking part in participative management are important to the company.

The role of family business leadership can no longer be authoritative; only an all inclusive leadership model with the best value system works in today’s business organization. To put it in a nutshell, the secret behind a successful business is long term thinking, highly ethical practices strong values of family spirit, integrity, value delivery to customers and developing an entrepreneurship attitude in every employee. Keeping the company financially stable and risk-proof, safeguarding and adding value to the business: these must be the goal of a Next Gen member who wishes to grow his company in leaps and bounds.

Kanishka brief me about your opinion on Ownership, Management and Family.

Ownership, Management and Family should be viewed differently among the next generation members.

Your father might have been a great product designer who helped the company grow, but that doesn’t mean the next generation could follow or repeat the same. There is no point in just holding positions, adding value to the business is more important.  Perform else take a back seat.

Family involvement in a company definitely helps it grow at a much faster pace since the outputs are going to benefit their whole generation. More than money, emotions and attachments drive individuals towards better growth.

I believe family owned companies and the next generation should clearly differentiate between ownership, management and families. When these collide it gets complicated outside of the office too. It is simple when said, but I’m sure it is difficult to practice. My father and I might have a disagreement inside the office room, but that should not hinder the father-son relationship. My style of working is different from my dad’s. It doesn’t mean one is right and the other is wrong; we have to find our own strengths and contribute.

Is there any family structure in Deccan Pumps Group? Your group recently announced a Spin off.

Its sad we had to do this, we tried our best but was too late. Also the chief emotional officer my grandfather was no longer there . There was no issues for money or business.

In India sometimes families grow faster than businesses and so we are forced to draw agreements for securing the future of the business and the brand value of what our previous generations have created. We, at the Deccan Pumps Group, are currently working on ownership and brand sharing methods with the next generation members. The ultimate goal is to secure the business, brand value and at the same time allow every member of the family to pursue their interests.

Every next generation family member should be on a stewardship / trustee role. I find myself not as a maverick, but as a star in my own way. Gen-next entrepreneurs are fortunate to be born in privileged families and should be thankful for their education and resources that not many are fortunate to have in a country like India. So we should add value to what the previous generations have created, protect it and pass it on to the next generation.

Brilliant. What’s your future Goals?

I’m just 23 years old and have a long way to go and I am sure my thought process and learning will evolve as I observe, learn and grow. I strongly believe that every next generation member should spend time in at least two companies briefly before joining their family business. It gives one a great learning curve of how business families work across the globe, which elevates the thought processes and enhances entrepreneurial skills.

I’m looking forward to creating a great family owned company with strong values and best practices that I have seen and learnt in the last few years across the globe and act as a trustee to the future generations. One thing I have learnt from the west is that family companies are held by Foundations and work on the model of investing all profits back into the company where the family is allowed only a small percentage of profit. I shall try working out a similar model.

The next ten years is very crucial for the country. I’m sure there can be a lot of globally competitive family owned companies from India across all sectors, if family companies practice the best processes and systems. I hope to put myself to work and add value to what my father has created. I’m sure every next gen member is talented, unique and can contribute in their own way – be it CSR, Marketing or Research.

The internships I went through, systems I worked in, diverse cultures I experienced and talented individuals I met, have left an indelible mark in my life.

I’m currently working on a project setting up a state-of-the-art new plant with the experiences and processes I have seen across the globe. Though not a mega plant, I aim to make it a very efficient one. I found the brand Deccan Pumps strong only in certain segments. So my new Brand extension line would help create a new perception among customers and drive towards growth.

The products are being designed and upgraded to world-class standards with a great emphasis on manufacturing systems and process technology. The new plant is a small test that I’m putting myself to. It will also increase our productivity in one product line up to five times.

My Professors in Stanford and Sheffield have always been good mentors and when I shared this idea they felt that this startup would help me learn quickly all aspects of business and if I perform well I will be ready for a bigger role.

Perform and Preserve, else Perish. Also, if one fails to safeguard the business and grow, it’s a crime. With a strong support of the previous generations and the wide global exposure that we have access to, it’s time we next gens create history!

Kanishka Arumugam

Deccan Pumps Private Limited

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What Dr. Kirby Rosplock Has to Say About Family Business, Women and Wealth

I met Dr. Kirby Rosplock at the Transitions West Conference in San Francisco a couple of years ago, when she joined me and another colleague in a very interesting conversation about family companies. She was humble, open, easy going and the way she talked about family business, and especially about women in family business, showed her passion and commitment to making a difference for them.

This is no surprise when you learn that Dr. Rosplock is also a 4th generation member and owner of a 130+ year old family business (www.BabcockLumber.com), a board member at the company and a co-trustee on her family’s foundation.

Her experiences in her own traditionally male-oriented family company filled her with an immense curiosity about how other people, especially women, experience their involvement in the family business world. This led Dr. Rosplock to write her dissertation paper: “Women’s Interest, Attitudes and Involvement with their Wealth” and she subsequently dedicated part of her successful career as a writer, researcher and lecturer to women’s empowerment around wealth.

In the following interview, Dr. Rosplock shares with us what is behind her passion for helping women, what interesting findings she has discovered in her research and details of her new project, which involves writing a handbook on the family office for Wiley & Sons.

About Transitions West Conference and Changed Lives

I just got back from the Transitions West conference at Marina del Rey, which was organized by The Family Business Magazine and Stetson University’s Family Enterprise center. This is a conference “created for family companies by family companies!” and, once again, we enjoyed some great, honest presentations by some outstanding family business members, non-family executives and family business experts.

Among my favorites were the opening keynote by Jim Ethier, Chairman of the Board of the Bush Brothers & Company, during which he described the experiences his family company had as they built their family governance. Also, the panel of non-family executives made up of James B. Wood, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of The Clemens Family Corporation, Robert J. Underbrink, President/CEO of King Ranch, Inc., David Yale, President, Just Born, Inc. and Ross Born, Co-CEO of Just Born, Inc., where I realized how difficult it is to find the right non-family CEO and the time and effort involved in the process; and the panel about how family councils foster engagement among family members, where Ashley Levi, Board Member at H.G. Hill Company, and Meghan Juday, Family Council Chair and Director at IDEAL INDUSTRIES, shared their experiences about how useful their families council has been for them. And finally the presentation from Mark Peters, CEO of Butterball Farms Inc., who underlined the risks involved in not having succession planning in place. Thanks to all for sharing their experiences and being so inspiring!

This was my second year at the conference and I was happy to see that many families came back and brought along quite a few more family members. I would say that the number of participants doubled from last year. Congratulations to the organizers!

I also meet Peter Begalla, Adjunct Professor and Program Manager at Stetson University’s Family Enterprise program, who I interviewed last year about the unique Family Enterprise program that Stetson University offers (Read interview here http://wp.me/p1tGmG-2n) and Professor Greg McCann, founder and Director of Stetson University’s Family Enterprise Center. I was interested in gaining the perspective of one of its students and when I meet Emily Dudley, senior at the Stetson University’s Family Enterprise program and second-generation partial owner of Dudley’s Auction Inc., at the Transitions West conference, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to interview her.

Please check what Emily has to say about how Stetson University’s Family Enterprise program has “changed her life.”

Written by Carmen Lence, Executive Coach at NextGen Consulting & Coaching LLC. Contact Carmen  at carmen@nextgenfamilybusiness.com

The Art of Coaching with Heart and Soul

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It is a warm Saturday afternoon in the Seaborg room at Berkeley Faculty Club.  I’m standing in front of a group of CEOs, managers and a few coaches that I just met a couple of hours ago. Next to me is Dr. Mark Rittenberg who is feeding me lines that I have to complete for everybody to hear: “What I want you to know about me is…” and words start coming out of my mouth, without filter, while Mark encourages me to speak slower and louder, urging me to look my audience in the eye. Next line… and I reveal another piece of my soul, next line… and another piece, next line … and tears start pooling my eyes while my words expose, for everyone to see, my soul stark naked.

You may wonder if I am a bit nuts and this was some kind of group therapy… not exactly. I was on the first day of my training to become a certified executive coach at the Executive Coaching Institute at UC Berkeley. I was one of the 24 participants that, every year, come from all over the world to take part in this transformative experience where, after 10 days of intense emotional, physical and mental immersion in the extraordinary world created by Dr. Mark Rittenberg and his team, you not only become a better coach, CEO or leader, but, quite simply, a better human being.

Mark, Arina, Lucy, Ivan, Jenny and the personal coaches assigned to each one of us (Ingrid, Tom, Reva, Susan, Siobhane, Thomas, Winston and Doy) pushed us everyday to take one more “baby step” out of our comfort zone. Mark would engage us in impossible-to-follow number games, that prompted us to be fully present, and think on our feet. Arina would encourage us to reflect on our life by helping us to find the defining moments that made us who we are today and assisting us to become comfortable with both the good ones and the bad ones. Lucy would teach us how to focus through the art of meditation. Ivan revealed to us the amazing power of our voice and taught us how to use it, not only to communicate, but to COMMUNICATE. And, of course, we learned coaching skills and had the chance to practice them with executives of leading companies from Silicon Valley and San Francisco. What a treat!!!

Pat Kiely, former CEO of AA Ireland, was one of the participants and my partner in one crazy theater piece we had to perform in from of the rest of the class. He told me that he had come to ECI to “get refreshed” after a rough couple of years. He attained his goal and transformed, in front of all of us, from a gentle Irishman that felt most comfortable blending into the background, to an outstanding, outrageous, funny Mr. Edison from the theater piece “The Prisoner of Second Avenue.” The performance left Pat feeling that he had more energy than the sun itself and everybody else with a smile on their face and a collective sense of achievement. Because, by then, it was clear that it wasn’t just the program leaders and coaches that were the source of our transformation, but that we all played an undeniable role in each other’s successes.

I’m flying back from the FFI Global congress at Brussels were I had the chance to test my own transformation.  After the ECI experience I decided to throw my MBA-like presentation style out of the window and I presented  “My story, Coaching and Coaching in Family Business” from my heart, fueled by my passion for coaching and family business. After the presentation quite a few people came over to congratulate me and they told me how my presentation and story reminded them of their own journey and that I had inspired them to continue walking the road less traveled or at least to start considering that path. My objective with this presentation was to educate my audience about coaching and about how coaching can help family business. Inspiring others to be better was an unexpected added bonus that has made all the difference to me.

Thanks, ECI community.  Let’s add one more little success to our list.

By Carmen Lence, Executive Coach at NextGen Consulting & Coaching LLC

Contact Carmen at carmen@nextgenfamilybusiness.com

How Tony Robbins helped me to stop making excuses

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Tony Robbins at Dreamforce in San Francisco

Today, a little dream of mine came true. I had the opportunity to listen to one of the most inspirational speakers and successful coaches of our time: Mr. Tony Robbins. Thanks to the organizers of the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, I found myself jumping up and down in the Moscome center, hugging complete strangers with all my love, shouting YES! YES! YES! while throwing my arms up in the air, clapping like my life depended on it, dancing and jumping even higher… I left with an extra dose of motivation plus a good workout! Great deal!

I have admired Tony Robbins for a long time. He was once a struggling teenager but one day he came across a marvelous book: “Think and grow rich” by Napoleon Hill, which changed his life by starting him out on a path of curiosity that examined the psychology of successful people and helped him to question how he could change his own situation for the better.I also experienced troubles when I was a young adult and I too had come across Hill’s book by pure chance. As with Tony Robbins, the book also changed my life. Like Robbins, I became a self-help junkie, reading any self-help book I could get my hands on. It seemed that those books where the only support I had when nobody else supported me, and after reading so many of them, I came to the conclusion that you are not what you eat, you are what you read! I went from feeling like a victim to feeling empowered and aware that I’m the only one who is responsible for the failures or successes that I encounter in my life; my circumstances were no longer an excuse.

I believe that Tony Robbins’ message is basically a fundamental truth that deep down we all know, but most of the time choose to ignore. That truth is that you can either have what you want, or  excuses not to have it. We all have the potential to achieve our dreams, but quite often we decide that we cannot do so, perhaps due to A, B, or C reason, and many of us look to others to validate our excuses. However, the reality of the situation is that the only thing between you and what you want, is YOU.

During the presentation, Tony explained that our decisions shape our life and that those decisions are controlled by our mental state (how we feel from moment to moment) and our blueprint (our story and expectations). He demonstrated how we are able to change our state by changing our physiology (or moving our body, hence all the jumping) and our focus. You can change your focus by asking yourself questions that launch your thinking in the direction of positivity and possibilities.

For example, instead of focusing on what you don’t have and asking yourself why you are not earning X amount a year? Ask yourself, what is something I can be proud of? What is really important to me? What can I be really grateful for? What excites me? If I were earning X, what would my life be like? What would be the ideal situation? What is an action I can take today to get one step closer to where I want to be tomorrow?

As Buddha said: All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” So, be aware of what your mind is focused on and learn how to change it when this focus is not serving you well.

I know that all this is easier said than done. We all fall back from time to time and return to a state of negativity,  self-defeat or pasivity. That is why the help of a professional coach can make the difference between dreaming and achieving. A professional coach is trained in exercises and questioning techniques that help you to keep your focus on what you want and how you can achieve it. A coach is trained to help you to devise your own solutions that suit your own unique situation and they help you to implement these solutions, keeping you accountable and motivated. A professional coach knows how to inspire you to take the actions you need to take to positively change for the better!

As an example from my own life, I have been putting off writing a new blog post for months and I always seem to find a good excuse to start “tomorrow.”  Today, after all the jumping and hugging, Tony asked the conference attendants to generate one professional goal, I wrote: “have X more clients by the end of the year,” then he asked us to write one specific action that we would take immediately towards achieving this goal. I wrote: “write my blog again.” There you go… done! Coaching works!!!

By Carmen Lence Coach and Consultant at NextGen Consulting & Coaching LLC

If you want to learn more about coaching and coaching for Family Business, I’ll be presenting “Coaching, Next Generation and Sustainable Change in Family Business” together with Christin McClave and Dennis Jaffe at the FFI international congress in Brussels on October 19th. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

How to Avoid “From Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves in Three Generations.” James E. Hughes Jr. Provides the Answer at the FFI Northern California Event

James E. Hughes Jr.


The FFI NCAL Chapter Formation Team recently hosted the second event of a series that is aimed at raising awareness of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter for the Family Firm Institute. Thanks to the efforts of Susan Ott and Henry Kaiser, who did a fantastic job of organizing the event, we all enjoyed a great learning and networking experience.

This time we had the opportunity to learn from Mr. James E. Hughes, who has more than forty years of experience working with family businesses. Mr. Hughes is also the author of the well-known family business books: “Family Wealth—Keeping it in the Family” and “Family: The Compact Among Generations.”

Mr. Hughes’ views on the issues related to passing wealth to the next generation and the impact that this can have on their lives did take me by surprise. Usually, the next generation are often perceived as being responsible for taking over a well-run family business and running it into the ground; they are also frequently considered to be entitled, dependant and spoilt. Mr. Hughes’ presentation focused more on the root of the problem and looked, in an entirely different light, at some of the issues that impact next generation family members.

During the presentation, all participants were asked to draw a very simple galaxy where one planet represented the “Donor” and was divided into two main areas: the “Land of Mindful Donor” and the “Land of Thoughtless Transfer.”  From this planet a meteor was ejected towards the “Planet Recipient.”  The question that he encouraged us all to ask as we drew the diagram was: “What is in your meteor?”

Mr. Hughes described how Planet Recipient is happily going about its business until the meteor is launched from Planet Donor, travels into its atmosphere and pretty much changes everything in a blink of an eye. If the meteor comes from the Land of Thoughtless Transfer, which in his opinion happens most of the time as the result of the donor feeling guilty about something and following his or her own agenda, the recipient runs the risk of becoming dependent and entitled.

What can the recipient do when the meteor suddenly lands on his/her planet? They have to adapt as quickly as possible, integrating this new alien body into their lives. Mr. Hughes presented the following simple formula:

Adaptation + Resilience = Integration

Adaptation – Resilience = Disintegration

The main element that the recipient needs to survive and thrive once the meteor hits his/her planet, is resilience and the quality of the recipient’s resilience is all that matters. The recipient has already built this resilience by educating himself/herself on who they really are, knowing what they want in life, developing a purpose for themselves and being their own person.

Mr. Hughes argues that the meteor should always comes from the Land of Mindful Donor, in that it should be launched by a donor who carefully thinks about the impact that the transfer is going to have on the recipient’s life. A Mindful Donor is a donor that considers how to enhance the life of the recipient, thinks about his or her intention and invests time developing the recipient as a human being. According to Mr. Hughes, it is crucial that donors make every effort to help the recipient to learn about his/her learning style, vocation and personality, and truly discover the deepest root of who he/she really is. This will ensure that the recipients are prepared for a fulfilled life, with or without the meteor and its content.

What about you? Do you think that this is the best way to end the “from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” cycle?

Written by Carmen Lence, Coach and consultant at www.nextgenfamilybusiness.com

How to Overcome “The Sad Princess Syndrome”

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The Princess is sad. What could it be the Princess has?

The Princess is sad. What could it be the Princess has? She says the King does not include her in any
decision making, nor gives her any true responsibility, nor is he raising her to govern the kingdom in
the future. She says the Prince Consort gets angry with her for no apparent reason. She says that her
family obligations limit her freedom and leaves her no time to continue to grow, look for ways to
develop her skills or seek opportunities where she would be able to exert her leadership skills. She
says that all the problems fall on her.
Poor Princess. The world is so unjust! Everything would just be different if her Father did what she
wanted; her husband did what she wanted and, the rest of the world did what she wanted. If they
could just be and do without her having to ask them. If only there were no difficulties and all was the
way she wanted! Then yes, the world would come to know her as the brilliant Princess that she really
is. The Heroine that will lead the kingdom to new levels of richness and wellbeing that her father could
only have dreamt about—but, since the others won’t allow her, what can the Princess do?
She hides her frustration and insecurity behind the mask of arrogance. She disguises her lack of
bravery as the victim of circumstances and of others. She uses cynicism and sarcasm. She seeks
approval. She never says no or, she says no to everything.
Anything but to look at herself in the mirror and come face to face with the true person responsible for
all her misfortunes and the only person that can save her from it all. Yes Princess, You are your own
worst enemy when you could be your best ally. No one will fight your battles for you. No one is going
to solve any problems for you and, as the saying goes, “No pain, no gain.”
You want to be successful but, do you know what success is? To achieve the goal or to overcome
whatever difficulties may cross your path? Can there really be any triumph without difficulties? No,
because by its own definition, “Triumph” implies difficulty and, if it were not that way, it would not be
a triumph. It would be like bread that falls from heaven, a real miracle!
To pretend to be victorious without difficulties while waiting for others to get rid of them for you is not
only being unrealistic but irresponsible as well. Winners are made, not born. They are forged from the
base of occupation instead of preoccupation and giving excuses. They are the ones who do, make
mistakes and learn from them and better themselves, again and again. They are made from difficult decision making, determination to see them through, flexibility to adapt to new circumstances, humility to learn from their mistakes and learn from others.

And that is the way it has to be since winning is not an end to itself but a process. There’s no point to
reaching the summit without “paying the price.” First of all you would not feel it as any kind of victory.
Second, without the due training, experience and self-confidence in one’s own self that allows the
process of winning, “Your” time in the summit would be limited only to the arrival of the first storm.
What can the Princess do to be successful? To be responsible of her situation, whatever it may be.
She has the power to change by changing herself and not waiting for the others to change.
Princess, what is it you really want? What do you have to do to obtain it? What is it you need? What
are your strengths? What do you need to improve? Who can help you? Princess, be brave, believe in
yourself and, in spite of feeling afraid, take that first step and then another, another and another—you
can do it. I believe in you! Ahead!

Written By Carmen Lence, Coach and Consultant at NextGen LLC. www.nextgenfamilybusiness.com/

Note by the Author:
To recognize that one has a problem is the first step to solve it. To take responsibility of it, accepting
that we are not victims of the circumstances or of others, only of our own attitudes and beliefs is the
second step to take. To become conscious that we ourselves are the ones that have to do something
in order to change our situation is the third step. After you decide what it is you want to do, create a
plan to achieve that and start walking. One step after another. You will trip, have difficulties, be
fearful and, you will no doubt be tempted many times to turn around and walk away, but that is part of
the process. There is no victory without failure.
Working with a coach will provide you with the clarity on what it is you really want to achieve. It will
help you create a plan that you really want to obtain and will you keep you motivate and centered in
what it is you want until you obtain it. Coaching is the impulse and the support that you need in order
to make things happen.
Invest in yourself and in your goals this year and, give yourself the best opportunity as a gift in order to
achieve your dreams by contracting a coach. Contact me to reserve a free 30 minute session through
email: carmen@nextgenfamilybusiness.com
Merry Christmas and may the New Year be full of successes for you!

Como Superar El “Síndrome de la Princesa Triste”

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La princesa está triste… ¿Qué tendrá la princesa? Dice que el Rey no la incluye en la toma de decisiones, no le da verdadera responsabilidad y no la forma para gobernar el reino en el futuro. Dice que el príncipe consorte se enfada con ella sin razón. Dice que sus obligaciones familiares limitan su libertad dejándola sin tiempo para seguir formándose, buscar maneras de desarrollar sus habilidades o oportunidades donde poder ejercer sus dotes de liderazgo. Dice que recaen sobre ella todos los problemas.

Pobre princesa. ¡Que mundo tan injusto! Todo sería diferente si su padre hiciera lo que ella quiere, si su marido hiciera lo que ella quiere, si el resto del mundo hiciera lo que ella quiere. A poder ser, sin tener ni siquiera que pedirlo.  ¡Si no hubiera dificultades y las cosas fueran justo de la manera que ella quiere! Entonces sí. Entonces el mundo conocería la Princesa brillante que realmente es. La Heroína que va ha llevar al Reino a niveles de riqueza y bienestar que ni siquiera su padre pudo soñar… Pero como los demás no le dejan. ¿Qué puede hacer la princesa?

Esconder su frustración y falta de seguridad en si misma detrás de la mascara de la arrogancia. Disfrazar su falta de valor de víctima de las circunstancias y de los demás. Utilizar el cinismo y el sarcasmo. Buscar aprobación. No decir que no, o decir que no a todo.

Cualquier cosa menos mirarse al espejo y enfrentarse a la verdadera responsable de todas sus desgracias y a la única que puede salvarle de ellas. Sí, Princesa, tú misma. Eres tú peor enemigo, pudiendo ser tú mejor aliada.  Nadie va a luchar tus batallas por ti. Nadie te va a solucionar los problemas. “El que algo quiere, algo le cuesta”, dice el refrán.

Tú quieres triunfar, pero ¿Sabes qué es triunfar? ¿Alcanzar la meta o superar las dificultades en el camino? ¿Puede haber triunfo sin dificultad? No, por propia definición, el triunfo implica dificultad, si no , no sería triunfo. Sería como el pan que cae del cielo, ¡un milagro!

Pretender triunfar sin dificultades o esperando que otros las eliminen por ti, no solo es irrealista, pero irresponsable. El triunfador no nace, se hace. Se hace a base de ocuparse en vez de preocuparse y disculparse. Se hace a base de hacer, de equivocarse, aprender y mejorar. Una y otra vez.

Se hace a base de valor para tomar decisiones difíciles, decisión para llevarlas  a cabo, flexibilidad para adaptarse a nuevas circunstancias, humildad para aprender de los errores y aprender de los demás.

Y así tiene que ser, el triunfo no es un fin, es un proceso. No  tiene sentido triunfar sin ‘pagar el precio’. Primero, no lo sentirías como triunfo. Segundo, sin la preparación, experiencia y seguridad en uno mismo que proporciona el proceso de triunfar tu tiempo en la cima esta limitado a la llegada de la primera tormenta.

¿Qué puede hacer la Princesa para triunfar? Tomar responsabilidad de su situación, cualquiera que sea. Ella tiene el poder de cambiarla cambiando ella, no esperando que cambien los demás.

Princesa, ¿Qué es lo que quieres?, ¿Qué tienes que hacer para conseguirlo?, ¿Qué necesitas?, ¿Cuáles son tus fortalezas?, ¿Dónde tienes que mejorar?, ¿Quién te puede ayudar?. Princesa, se valiente, cree en ti y a pesar del miedo da un paso, y después otro, y otro, y otro… Tú puedes. Yo creo en ti. ¡Adelante!.

Escrito por Carmen Lence, Coach y Consultora de NextGen LLC

www.nextgenfamilybusiness.com

Nota del autor:

Reconocer que uno tiene un problema, es el primer paso para solucionarlo. Responsabilizarse de ello, aceptando que no somos víctimas de las circunstancias, ni de los demás, si no solo de nuestras actitudes y creencias, es el segundo paso. Tomar conciencia de que somos nosotros los que tenemos que hacer algo para cambiar nuestra situación es el tercer paso. Después decide que es lo que quieres hacer, crea un plan para conseguirlo y échate ha andar. Un paso tras otro. Va ha haber traspiés, dificultades, miedo y te vas a ver tentado a dar marcha atrás una y otra vez, pero eso es parte del proceso. No hay triunfo sin fracaso.

Trabajar con un coach te proporciona claridad sobre que es aquello que quieres conseguir, te ayuda a crear un plan para conseguirlo y te mantiene motivado y centrado en lo que quieres hasta que lo consigas. Coaching, es el impulso y apoyo que necesitas para hacer que las cosas pasen.

Invierte en ti y en tus objetivos este año y regálate la mejor de las oportunidades para conseguir lo que quieres contratando un coach. Contáctame para reservar una sesión gratuita de 30 minutos en el email:  carmen@nextgenfamilybusiness.com

¡Feliz navidad, y que el Año Nuevo venga cargado de éxitos para ti!

Family Business and Tough Love, Something to Be Grateful For

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I’m the middle kid in my family. I have an older sister who is much prettier than I and a younger brother, who was a dream come true for my father, who always wanted to have a boy to carry on the family name, so it’s no wonder that I’ve always been the rebel, the troublemaker in the family. I suppose that I just wanted attention, but I also had a strong desire to live my life my way.

Growing up with a strong-minded entrepreneur who had a very clear idea in his mind about what was best not only for the company but for every single member of his family was not easy for me. I imagine that dealing with a strong-minded child was not easy for him, either.

My father’s biggest loves in his life are his kids and his business, so he has always tried to keep us together. We started working in the family business as children helping out on the weekends. Later, as teenagers, we rotated through different positions giving holidays to employees and working part-time during college managing one of the service areas of the company.

I loved it. I hated it. I loved the learning, the responsibility, and feeling useful and proud of my family. I hated the lack of freedom, feeling that I did not have a say in what I wanted, and how demanding and difficult to please may father could be.

When we had arguments, my father would end the discussion with, “You don’t understand how much a parent loves a child until you have one.” I think I understand now that I’m also a parent.

My father asked us to take on jobs such as waiting tables, pumping gasoline, and cleaning cars. His expectation that we would work as hard in the business as he did was his way of loving us and teaching us the value of money, appreciation for what we had, humility, and respect for other people regardless of their background. Our successful company was not a present; it was the result of hard work and dedication.

My father did not make things easy for me. I had to fight hard for want I wanted. This was also his way of loving me. He just wanted to protect me, but his strong desire to control my life was my biggest motivation to be brave, follow my instincts, and not settle for less than what I wanted.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I have many things to be grateful for: my family, my husband, my kids, my friends, my wonderful life… But what I have to be the most grateful for is growing up in a family business with a strong father who cared deeply about me. Thanks to him and to all the good and bad moments we have gone through, I am who I am and I have the life I have today. I couldn’t be more grateful for that!

Thanks, Dad, for being the wonderful father you are. I love you.

Happy thanksgiving to everybody!

Written by Carmen Lence, Family Business Consultant and coach

www.nextgenfamilybusiness.com

When is a Good Time to Pass The Baton… to Your Brother? Burnout Time!

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Kirk McMillan is now CEO/Owner @ VIS3

 

Second-generation Kirk McMillan successfully grew his family’s U.S. company, Twelve Baskets, from $4 million to $50 million annual revenue. Then his brother was invited by his father to join in and decision-making became “complicated.” Learn from someone who has come out through the tunnel of frustration, lack of support, and ultimately burnout and who learned how to survive and thrive.

-You assumed the leadership of your family business right after finishing university. What were the circumstances around it?

I was a senior in college and I was about to start interviewing. I was home for the holidays. After dinner, I was at the dinner table and my parents asked me, “Would you be interested in coming to work for the family? We need help.” And I thought about it, I was like, ok. I’d been working in the business, I had done all the little things you do growing up in a family business. Then I came in and there wasn’t a formal process to say: Here’s how the business runs…I just had to jump in and figure it out as I went along.

– When did you become CEO of the company?

Within four years. I started out without a title. Then I was there for four years and my dad and mom made me the president of the organization but I was already acting in that role without having the title. Because I was already doing the strategies, already putting things in place that needed to be done to change the company.

-How did it feel not to have a job description when you joined in?

I didn’t have an official one so… the people looked at me from a leadership perspective. But my dad looked at me as a son, he didn’t look at me as someone like a partner. I don’t really even know if he looked at me as an employee either, he just looked at me as a son. And so when we would have meetings with employees, suppliers, and customers that dynamic was not working because he was treating me like a son in all of these meetings. So I told him, “Dad you can’t continue to treat me as a son, if this is going to work, you have to start looking at me as part of the organization, as an owner, as a leader of it.” But that didn’t change; he kept doing it so I had to find a way to change it up. So I stopped calling him Dad. In those meetings I started calling him by his first name. And that was a shock for him. But eventually he did change—it took him a little while but he did. The funny part was that it immediately made a difference with the employees, the customers, and the suppliers. They looked at me differently. I call it system shock—I had to shock the system to make it change.

– What were the main challenges in taking over the presidency so young?

I was 26 at the time. The challenges were more strategic challenges because where I was taking the business was strategically different than where my dad was comfortable. So the challenge was trying to marry the risk that is involved with the strategies and getting the family on board with that. So that was difficult whereas my dad and mom didn’t take much risk before. But we had to take more risks to survive, to grow the business. We couldn’t do all the things that I wanted to do because there had to be some synergy between the family and the business.

-And then you grew your family business from $4 million a year to $50 million. What in your opinion has been the key to your success?

Well first, the system shock.  Continuing to challenge the business and the employees to do something differently than what they are used to. That was the biggest key, keeping people on edge to grow the business.

Having the buy-in from people collectively as a group was another big key, getting everybody together to move forward. And finally, looking further out time wise. We would look five years out or ten years out and not try to get caught up in what’s happening today to where you’re just reacting to the world that’s happening around you. That was a big culture shift for our business because my dad is a very reactive person. He’s happy when he goes home and he’s put out ten fires during the day.

Another challenge was keeping people motivated and energized, getting them where they are happy coming in to work wanting to do the things that were important.

-How did you feel when your father offered your younger brother a position with the company without asking for your input first?

At first I was angry, it was sort of taken as disrespectful, a lack of recognition for not only the position and work I was doing, but lack of recognition and respect for our relationship. That was my initial reaction to that. But then I asked myself, “Is this a family business?” and I really had to sit back and say, “All right, this is a family business and this may be best for us.” It doesn’t matter so much how I feel about it, I can make the most of this situation and make it as positive as possible.

-In 2007 your company got a very good offer from a competitor to get bought out and your family didn’t accept the offer. That was the first time that you didn’t feel you were in a family business—why?

It’s a big step for the family to say yes, we want to entertain an offer from another company, so you are basically saying that we are willing to give up what we built. And then as we got further into the negotiations, my brother, I, my parents, everybody had individual motivations to sell and they weren’t collective. It wasn’t where everyone was getting together and saying all right, what’s best for the family. That’s when I realized, Is this really a family business? And if it doesn’t feel like a family business maybe I really need to look at doing something else. And I was already feeling this way personally from other aspects because I was losing energy. I was burned out. I had been president of the organization for thirteen years but really running the business for fifteen years. I couldn’t convince my family to get a board of directors so I didn’t have a support network. I didn’t have any support systems where I could get honest feedback.

When I was running the business early on and up until when my brother got there, ultimately I was making decisions as president of the organization and I didn’t really seek my dad’s buy-in on those decisions. I just did what I thought was best and if my dad didn’t like them we would just end up fighting about it some but for the most part he ended up coming along on those decisions. When my brother came in things shifted and it became more of a democracy where decisions weren’t getting made. So I was really getting burned out. My dad and brother would be in alignment and I would be the outsider trying to do things. The business wasn’t moving forward, I wasn’t able to convince them to do things that I thought needed to be done. So now this offer comes in, we agreed to talk to this company and then all the personal motivations started to come out—what people are looking for. I said this just doesn’t seem like a family business. The motivations don’t really seem like we’re looking out for the family long term.

– After 15 years leading the company you decide to pass the baton to your younger brother. How did it feel?

It was a five-year process. It was two years of this very emotional cycle. The self-evaluation of what did I like about the business? What did I dislike? What did I get out of it personally? What were the challenges? What were my successes? What were my failures? Why would I want to stay? Why would I want to go? In that two-year process I just kept evaluating and at the end I realized that it was best for me to leave. For personal growth, for personal reasons that I needed to do something else. So at the end of the two years is when I told my parents; I didn’t talk to them before that period of time. Once I made the decision there was peace. I was happy with it. From that point on whatever I needed to do to help the transition I was willing to do. So my brother and I took on a co-president role for a year but ultimately he was making a lot of the decisions. I took on the CFO role during his first year as president and a year later, I stepped away from the business, realizing that my brother needed me to be away for him to be able to grow. He needed that autonomy to not have anybody to blame and only he himself to enjoy the successes. My brother had been in my shadow for all of his life.  I realized that I needed to step away completely so I did and now he’s got the chance to experience that on his own, which I think has been really good for him.

-If you had the chance to do it all over again what would you do differently?

I would have insisted on a board of directors. Looking back I would have found other ways to at least have found an advisory board because I think ultimately that’s where I lost my motivation. I think that would have made a world of difference, probably to the point where I might have had the motivation to stay around. And I would have had the different perspectives and views to where maybe the company could have gone in a different direction and maybe become even better. Also, I would have forced my family to do more communication collectively as a family. Unfortunately the conversations that I typically had with my dad or my mom ended up being business-related. So we didn’t have that connection on a personal perspective. I would have tried to find some creative ways to where the family could have done some things as family. Probably use some outside facilitators to do that. Other than that I don’t look back and have regrets. I had failures over time but I wouldn’t trade those because I learned a lot from those failures.

-Do you have a word of advice for Next Generation members who find themselves going through a similar situation?

You’ve got to find ways to stay energized. And for everybody that’s different. For me what I realized is that I needed a support system that was going to challenge me intellectually, professionally and personally. I didn’t have that so I would say for anybody that’s thinking of running their family’s business or that’s in their family’s business and they’re just feeling overwhelmed in the process is to find that support network. Whether it’s a group of peers, friends, or an advisory board, I think you need an outlet to let things go. You need an outlet to bounce ideas off. An outlet where you can get some validation and support that gives you that strength, that energy to make the hard decisions. For me the hardest part was for a lot of time I made a lot of decisions where I felt like I was on an island by myself. So you really don’t have a basis to say am I doing a good job, am I doing a bad job? People are social; we need people to share things with. To continue to be energized and challenged—that’s the best advice I can give.

 

What about you? Have you gone through a similar experience? What have you done to overcome it?

 

 

Written by Carmen Lence, Family Business Coach and Consultant at http://www.nextgenfamilybusiness.com/