The Single Worst Question to Ask in Family Legacy—Part II

The Single Worst Question to Ask in Family Legacy—Part II

by Bill High

In my last blog, the first in a three-part series, I spoke about the single worst question in family legacy: Why can’t you be like me?

Why is it the worst question? It assumes that who you are as an individual in the family system is not good enough, doesn’t measure up—and that you should be something other than yourself. It also assumes that the person making the statement has the upper hand. It’s pride.

The why-can’t-you-be-like-me question also prompts the crazy cycle. One family member asks the question, which breeds a cycle of discontent and distrust. In the context of a family business, a strong-willed visionary patriarch may ask the question of his introverted, present-focused son, whom the father wants to run his company. In many cases, that will not work.

And here’s the truth: Just because the present-focused introvert can’t run the company doesn’t make him bad or incapable. It’s just not how he is wired. Let’s not expect introverts to be extroverts and extroverts to be introverts. They are just different. It tends to be a constant reality that families push children into the business when they may not be equipped or wired for the roles they assume.

On the other hand, can you imagine the power of what takes place when a child works within their gifts, talents, and abilities and gets recognized for that effort? There’s great freedom, acceptance, and joy.

This basic understanding of personality can go a long way towards promoting family harmony. Part III, the final blog in this series, focuses on distinguishing personality from character.


Share this Post

If you enjoyed this content and would like to receive updates via email, please subscribe.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Published February 26, 2018

Topics: Family Business

Family BusinessFamily CommunicationFamily Personality DifferencesInheritanceSuccession

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *