F is for...Family
My week has been filled with calls and emails from members. Social isolation and Zoom screen fatigue is incenting people to get on the phone—even Gen Z’s are returning phone calls!
During these calls, after the check-in on business, the topic turns to family. Zoom calls have helped connect quarantined parents, sibs, and cousins but there is still a longing and a desire to see family members in person. In our family business world we know that family resilience and family cohesion are the secrets to a lasting and successful family businesses. The power of a unified family is playing out in real time today. Here’s a smattering of what I’ve heard is happening in your families this week.
- Executive and family members are working in the warehouse
- TicTok videos are being sent between households
- Family member salary cuts are offered and taken to save jobs
- 90 hour weeks
- Thoughtful notes from shareholders to family members on the front lines
We know you’re in it and making it work. We salute your efforts and encourage you to keep in touch with us and your fellow FBC members. We are here to help one another through this.
My member check-ins this week reveal a mixed bag. Everyone’s business operations are stressed, but in different ways. Phrases that I’ve heard this week include:
- I’m dodging bullets
- I’m under the gun
- I’m holding the line
- We are really fortunate
- We are going to be okay
- We’ve been through worse than this
Most have applied and received CARES act funds. You are checking in and helping each other--peer group members are connecting through Slack, daily messaging, and video calls. One company helped another acquire needed PPE, another shared new best practices for employee entry and safety, and yet another is taking leadership to help push statewide COVID-19 testing in an effort to get companies back to work. Stress abounds AND you continue to innovate. Don’t forget to celebrate the efforts of your and other family businesses.
Speaking of celebrating family businesses...
If you know an exceptional family business (including your own) we want to hear about them. Maybe you know of a family business that's doing incredible work right now in the face of this pandemic. Let us know by nominating them for the 2020 Illinois Family Business of the Year Awards. It's important to remember that while this is a very difficult and challenging time, and while things afterward may be vastly different, it will end. We will gather again in the future to celebrate.
Nominating a family business takes less than 5 minutes and can be done here.
Worried about the markets?
Here’s a thoughtful response I liked from the investment team at Northern Trust: COVID -19 Market Stress: Your Questions Answered.
August 28 and 29
The Next Generation Leadership Institute opening retreat at our Woodstock campus.
- September 8 and 9
The Family Business Stewardship Institute helps shareholders become the best partners to their family business.
- October 8 and 9
The Governance Institute shows you how a high performing board for a family business should operate and how you can contribute at the board level for your own family business.
What are you doing this weekend? Want to get inspired?
We dipped into the archives and found a gem from our 2015 conference on Risk and Resilience. Watch Doug Crandall, Leadership Development specialist and West Point alumni take on leadership in crisis and "building a culture of candor."
Watch the video here
There's a webinar today... join us
Don't miss our FREE webinar: “Leveraging Your Board During in Times of Crisis” featuring Andrew Keyt and Joe Astrachan. The broadcast is at 1:00 p.m. today. If you missed the broadcast a recording will be posted on the COVID-19 resource page next week.
Register for today's webinar
If you finished reading this long love letter, please let me know and I’ll send you a copy of one of my favorite family business books :) No matter what the coming week looks like, please stay strong and keep going. Call or write if you want to connect. We are here for you to help you through.