I wanted to share a recent online interview with Family Business Experts.com (FBE) — a twenty-person team of family business experts offering hundreds of great tips and proven strategies and solutions to help individuals improve their family owned businesses since 1967. It was the result of their founder, Don Schwerzler’s, reading and review of my book, If You Loved Me, You’d Stop! …. I’ve included one of the interview Q&As, here, to give you a sense of what you’ll learn reading the entire interview:
FBE - How does a family memberâ€™s drinking affect a family business?
Lisa Frederiksen - Just by the nature of being a family business, there is a tendency to protect the family and to unite around members of the family because after all, itâ€™s their business and there is a unique bond, simply by being family. Add to this the nature of the denial that is present in all family systems where there is drinking â€“ denial by the alcohol abuser or alcoholic that itâ€™s really that bad or that something else is the reason for getting drunk (e.g.,â€I hadnâ€™t eaten all dayâ€ or â€œEveryone was drinkingâ€ or â€œAt least heâ€™s not mean when he drinksâ€), there is a tendency to cover-up or compensate for a drinking family memberâ€™s poor work performance or the fall-out from their drinking behaviors.
This has significant impacts on the business â€“ on other employeeâ€™s who feel compelled to go along with the cover-up; on professionals (CPAs, attorneys) who work with the business who may rely on agreements made or be delayed in their own performances of work because of the drinking family memberâ€™s inability to remember or to follow-through; and on the family itself if there is more than one family member involved in the business.
Additionally, there is the stress of what goes on in the homes of the various family members â€“ even if they arenâ€™t the drinking family memberâ€™s home. Everyone carries some sort of stress for either the cover-up, the denial, the work failures, the relational issues, the inappropriate statements or behaviors towards co-workers while drunkâ€¦and the list goes on. They take those stresses home with them, which in turn affects how they deal with their loved ones at home.