Family businesses often reflect the culture and relational dynamics of their owners. It follows that a family’s faith would also affect its business operations, but how do they navigate this issue?
Barbara Spector, writing for Family Business Magazine (July/August 2020), asked representatives of two family businesses that question in “Dueling Perspectives: Faith and the Family Business.”
Spector asked Stacy Mello of A. Duda & Sons, an agricultural and real estate company in Oviedo, Florida, and Bill Yoh of Day & Zimmerman, a Philadelphia-based company that offers services to the engineering, construction and maintenance industries, how their families approach the issue of faith in their businesses.
Mello, who leads a couple divisions and is family council chair, says the family’s faith is integral to their business. “To grow Christian faith and business integrity is the first plank on our mission card. One of our core values is faith in the Lord, who richly blesses us all…. [Christian faith] is maybe not shared by all of our employees, and it’s certainly not a requirement….”
Mello says their shared Christian faith brings the family together.
Yoh, who leads his family’s governance and succession efforts, says, “We like to talk about people bringing their whole selves to a conversation, bringing their whole selves to work, bringing their whole selves to the family, and feeling safe to bring their whole selves and to share. So we intentionally keep faith out of those conversations, and we instead focus on core values.”
For context, the Yoh family includes a range of beliefs. Some are members of Christian denominations, while others describe themselves as spiritual but not religious.
How would you add to this conversation for yourself, your family, your family business or the family businesses that you advise? Which side of the conversation would you align with?
Photo by iStockphoto.com
Share this Post
Published August 26, 2020