Ross had set up his own business when he was in his twenties. Now, 40 years later, he was thinking of retirement.
His son Dan had come into the business 10 years ago and it was assumed he would take over from his father when he retired. But Ross didn’t retire and constantly found fault with the way Dan did things. No-one was happy.
By stepping back and ignoring the family ties, the following information was gained –
Ross had no intention of ever retiring. He saw himself in his eighties, still coming in three mornings a week.
Dan didn’t like the business and would rather have been boat building. He was only there because he thought his father wanted him there.
Ross knew his son wasn’t a good manager but felt he had to offer him a job in the family business.
The outcome – Dan went to work for a boat builder, Ross hired a deputy manager – and everyone was happy.
(Names and details have been changed to protect client confidentiality.)