By Marty Chiu
Photo by Nina Uhlikova, Courtesy of Pixels.com
In previous blog posts, I discussed why I created The Captain (www.wealthinfamily.com/thecaptain) and how I desire to unify families and their financial wealth for generations so they can live their life’s best outcome.
My Personal Mission Statement
The reason family unification is so important to me is because my personal mission is to “inspire others to aspire purpose” in all aspects of a person’s life, whether it be in their personal life, finances or relationships. This naturally extends to the family unit, as the family unit has a large influence on an individual, especially during their formative years. I work closely with family leaders to make an impact on the direction of the family’s unity, continuity and culture.
Helping Family Leaders Find Their “Why”
When working with family leaders, I first have them determine their “why.”
As Simon Sinek explains in his book “Start with WHY,” the importance of knowing why you’re doing something is greater than what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. The “why” is the intention behind everything that is done. If there is a strong enough “why,” the “how” and “what” will naturally follow.
I have seen from working with families of financial wealth, that oftentimes family leaders will inadvertently neglect relationships within the family in the pursuit of creating wealth. They may think their “why” is to bring financial stability to the family, but instead they are so powered by their determination and drive to get where they want to go and the minutiae of life that they forget to focus on their “why,” namely the family members who mean the most to them. I’ve seen this particularly in families where one or both family leaders run their own businesses. Business leaders can be so focused on looking ahead to where they are going that they neglect to look back to where they have left their family members behind.
To combat the natural drift of family leaders away from their “why,” I teach that family leaders must be intentional to initiate regular, meaningful conversation with family members. Communication is the key to creating commonality between family members, unity and an environment where safety and trust exists.
How to Improve Family Communication
I explain that every interaction, conversation and activity has a cumulative effect on the family, whether it be positive or negative. Family leaders can change the family dynamics simply by changing how they communicate.
In the 1970s, the phrase “Stop, Drop, and Roll” was a popular term used to remind people how to extinguish fire on a person’s clothing to minimize bodily harm.
When having a conversation with a family member to help build a bridge of communication, I advise family leaders to remember to:
1. Stop what they are doing to pay attention to the other person to understand what the other person is trying to communicate with them.
2. Drop any preconceived ideas to seek first to understand, and then to be heard.
3. Roll with the comments exchanged to find a solution on common ground.
I enjoy working with family leaders to embrace their roles and actions to exemplify to the rising generation what leadership looks like and build a foundation to connect the generations together. It is my hope you will join us as we journey toward improving our family leadership.