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Focus on the Family- the Business Family

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Focus on the Family- the Business Family

 “Focus on the Family – the Business Family”

One of the most consistent questions I get from people when they find out that my wife and I have 8 children is “Do you know what makes that happen?” The next question I get is “Are they all yours?” I find quite a bit of humor in these questions and would like to address them as it relates to the topic at hand.

Do you know what makes that happen? – The definition of “Family” is very unique because there are so many relative opinions on what a family is. While traditionally we consider the home as the place where a family resides, I would suggest that we consider an additional and different criteria for the definition. What would you call a group of individuals who spend 8-10 hours a day with each other, engage in conversational topics that include everything from relationships, to sports, to fine arts, to politics etc., that nurture one another through illness and struggles, that help one another to become better in their craft and have hope and faith that all those who you associate with will have great success in their lives? I would call that a family! True, it is a business family but a family nonetheless. What makes that happen?

A very well-known and successful company called DocuWare states as part of their career mantra that: “Our Company’s staff is made up of unique people who enrich our organization through their individuality and ideas.”  Therein is my answer to the question “Do you know what makes that happen?” My answer is YES I DO!!! Surrounding yourself with talented unique individuals who bring to the organization enrichment based ideas, creates an environment of achievement and success. As businesses, human capital is our greatest investment and focusing on the business family that invites such people to your organization, creates bonds in a transient world that evokes two of the great L-Words known in business…Loyalty & Legacy!

Are They All Yours? As a parent of 8 or a Manager of dozens, there are times I can proudly say “Yes They Are” and then there are times I have to pause before I answer. A story is told of a senior citizen who was driving on the highway when his wife calls him on his cell phone and in a worried voice says, ”Herman, be careful! I just heard on the radio that there is a madman driving the wrong way on Route 280!” Herman says, ”I know, but there isn’t just one, there are hundreds!” :0)

Ownership of everyone who is in your business family is critical even if what they bring to the organization may be counter cultural to the traffic flow of the organization. Risk is an appendage to ownership and the people you work with, need to know that when times are tough, you will be there for them! Sometimes it’s to turn them in a different and safe direction and other times, it’s to step in front and divert traffic away for them so they can reach their destination!

Either of these questions and the answers given are meant to emphasize one thing. That the people you work with & for are important! Focus on how to serve one another, help each other and reach the definition of success TOGETHER! In business as in life, regardless of the definition, Family is important. So if they are born into your business or come through a vendor agreement, remember the words of the Three Musketeer’s “All for One & One for All”!

So thank you for your “Focus on the Family – the Business Family”. It’s been fun knowing that once again, “You’ve Been Scanned”! I look forward to you visiting us again when we discuss “Consultants or Con Artists?”


Carl Harris has been in Executive Management for over 27 years both in Fortune 500 Companies and Privately Owned Enterprises. He has been married to his beautiful wife Tammy for 25 years and they have 8 children. Carl has been an instructor for the American Institute of Architects, is a member of TASA and has his Masters Certificate from Notre Dame and is a graduate of the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management – University of California, Riverside.