Front-running family businesses know that no amount of wealth, goodwill, or anything helps when it comes to making decisions that change the course of their next ten decades.
What helps is a deep sense of purpose.
Purpose – A deep call in the family that reminds them why they exist beyond their known material reasons.
When families admit, accept, and agree on this non-material reason, all material comes through, including the family identity.
What matters really to making conscious long-term decisions is how deeply the family is connected to this formless reason (the purpose).
The reason which guides them, reminding that why do they exist?
What is the existential reason they are bound to make it come through in every thought, decision and action?
Business is a mere instrument for them, a great instrument to express their true will, divinity, and unique and incredible spirit.
Business to them is far more noble than making transactions with customers.
It is making transformational changes in the lives of people they serve through whatever trade skill they have championed over generations.
Business to them is Love. Business to them is Responsibility. They bind themselves to this responsibility with all they carry in their heart, mind and soul.
You see, they understand that the mind is brilliantly powerful in solving problems. The mind needs its teeth to be put in problems to enjoy its power.
However, they are also aware of not making the mind enslave you with its lust for money and material. They define the boundary for the mind to make it serve the existential reason at best.
When the mind is put in service to fulfil an existential purpose, the magic begins. And this way, magic grows and grows boundless beyond foreseeable generations.
The family businesses in the world who entered in their 16th generation, 12th generation, and similar have something subtle to teach us if we care to observe and learn.
What makes them continue expressing their existential reason beyond the family member’s own existence is known to many but followed by quite a handful or even less.
Not that their purpose doesn’t change over a hundred-year timeframe. It does. But, it grows in the same lineage of thought that gets more clarified as they live upon it.
But, what does all this have to do with the success of family businesses in the long term? Well, everything.
Our pursuits in any relationship define its age. This means that if pursuit in any relationship we have is for comfort, money, or anything similar, then the age of the relationship is already defined & destined until the condition exists. Don’t you agree?
Let’s view this matter from another point; if you decide you want to be in a relationship with a pursuit of love with meaning beyond comfort and material, then it knows no boundary and has no age at all. Besides, both elements, love and meaning are creator elements of an ultimate kind for anything you wish to create – material success is just a tiny part of this creation.
Apply same to business relationship and observe— if a business has chosen its pursuits in relationship with customer for money to flow, cash flow, profits, margins, continuity and similar, then what would happen to relations — When the customer isn’t buying? When the customer isn’t giving cash flow? When the customer isn’t giving profits? When the customer isn’t giving margin?
Will you not evaluate in an instant the relationship as a whole !?
Will you ever question the pursuit you are carrying in your entire engagement with customers?
Will you not look for a better customer? Will you ever change the pursuit in the relationship itself?
Because if you think about it, you will find the logic behind why in our world today, divorces are so common, broken families are getting the norm, socially fragile communities from inside are at large, and people themselves are finding their own relationship with themselves in wrong pursuits!
This is scary, and it takes away every hope for leadership that is necessary to win in the complex world we have entered in.
You look around and allow yourself to see what is happening in relationship pursuits like a spouse, friends, relatives, and many more. What are they pursuing in their relationship, really? This is critical to define the age and quality of pursuits itself.
The moment the intended pursuit reasons get affected, a loud siren goes in the belly of the wife or husband and family businesses they run are just about to get affected with their sirens…
Hence, The evaluation of the relationship is myopic, but the evaluator must evaluate the pursuits they have been carrying ever since in the relationship.
Purpose is all about what pursuits you would place in hundreds and thousands of relationships, making them either ageless or age prone.
Hope this has given some insights for you to continue your crucial thinking for improving your pursuits!