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Episode 24: Boundaries Within Family Business

In this episode of the Family Business Show, Michael Palumbos hosts an enlightening discussion on boundaries within family businesses. With guests Melissa Mitchell-Blitch and Paul Edelman, they delve into the complex interplay between personal and professional roles in family enterprises, emphasizing the critical role of boundaries in fostering both family and business health.

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch, drawing on her experience and insights from her book "In the Company of Family: How to Thrive When Business Is Personal," explains that boundaries are essential tools to filter what benefits the business and family while keeping detrimental elements at bay. She illustrates this with a compelling narrative about Jay Wells, a business owner grappling with Alzheimer's, highlighting the delicate balance between leveraging his expertise and safeguarding the business's reputation.

Paul Edelman contributes valuable perspectives on generational transitions, emphasizing the importance of younger family members asserting themselves while respecting established boundaries. He shares a poignant example of a son stepping up to lead the family business, underscoring the nuanced dance of renegotiating boundaries during such transitions.

Both experts stress starting with manageable boundary-setting practices, particularly in safe environments, to build the skills and confidence necessary for more challenging scenarios. They advocate for alignment between one's external actions and internal feelings, ensuring that commitments are genuinely upheld and not begrudgingly met.

Listeners are encouraged to reflect on their boundaries within their family businesses and consider how implementing or adjusting these boundaries can lead to more harmonious and productive family and business dynamics. For those seeking further insights, Melissa's book offers a comprehensive guide to understanding and applying these principles effectively.

Episode 24 Transcript


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Michael Palumbos: Well welcome everybody to the family business show. My name is Michael Columbus with family wealth and legacy in Rochester, New York, where it is currently getting snow flurries.



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Michael Palumbos: Was 80 degrees last week snow this week. Typical through upstate New York. Today, we are blessed. We have two incredible guests. Melissa Mitchell glitch and Paul Edelman and we're going to be talking about boundaries within the family business. So welcome to both of you.



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Michael Palumbos: As we typically do we, you know, this being in this business of working with family owned businesses is more of a journey.



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Michael Palumbos: Than you know what you didn't typically walk in and say, oh, I want to go to school for this. Now, you might be able to do that.



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Michael Palumbos: But when we started, it wasn't like that. So why don't you, Paul. Why don't you kick us off and tell us about your journey. How did you start working with family owned businesses.



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Paul Edelman: Okay, so



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Paul Edelman: My parents were first generation children of immigrants and they ran a family business. And like many parents they they like giving their children advice and telling us what to do.



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Paul Edelman: So when I finished graduate school. I went to work as a consultant and a manager and I was determined to try a different approach.



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Paul Edelman: From what I learned at home so i i began using a simple model to help people think through problems decide what to do.



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Paul Edelman: See what happens and figure out what they could learn from that. And so I've been doing the same thing in one form or another, ever since. Working with family businesses in a variety of other kinds of organizations. Wonderful.



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Michael Palumbos: Welcome, appreciate you being here.



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Paul Edelman: Thanks, Mike.



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Michael Palumbos: Melissa Europe.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Well Michael my path took one of those squiggly paths that you are kind of alluding to, when you ask this question, I my first career was as a CPA.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And I did not plan to have a second, second and third career. I love to state planning. I love the complexity. I love the challenge. I love it. There's not just one answer. And that was gonna be my thing.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But in working at a big five accounting firm and their family planning group. Most of our families who had their financial success because of a family business.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: I saw the challenges, whenever you try to do business with family. It's just inherently challenging



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And, you know, everything has pros and cons, but it seemed to me from my glimpse into their lives. They were just too many cons.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And wanted to tip that scale I wanted them to have a tip scale where they enjoyed the benefits more and experiences the challenges less. So this was the late 90s.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: I went looking on the World Wide Web pre Google days for someone who helped families with this challenge.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And quite honestly, I did not know what I was looking for that. That made it harder to find. And again, it was pre Google



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But I couldn't find over a period of years, someone who I can identify who worked in the space where money and business and family every lap.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And eventually I decided, well, the needs not going away. I'm interested in it. Maybe this is my call in life. I think it is.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And so I left finance in 2003 to get a masters in psychology got licensed experienced



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: In that and then in 2000 brought these threads together of having the understanding of business and finances and estate planning, but at work at that intersection psychology money business family to help families where those threads on our second can be quite complex.



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Michael Palumbos: Well, welcome. We're glad that you made that journey.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: With you, Michael. I love the word. Thank you.



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Michael Palumbos: So today we're talking about boundaries within the family business. And, you know, before the before the show started, we were just kind of chit chatting and, you know, Paul brought up the fact that boundaries are everywhere. As soon as you start thinking about it, it's like wow so



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Michael Palumbos: Let's, let's talk about you know what boundaries are and why they're important to families in business and and Paul, I'm going to ask you to, you know, pop in on



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Michael Palumbos: Some of the conversations that we were having and you know what you would use as your definition of boundaries and why they're important to be thinking about. Sure.



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Paul Edelman: Just for context, it's important for people to be aware of that. Michelle is the person who wrote the book. I'm sorry. Melissa Melissa is the person who wrote the book on this.



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Michael Palumbos: And be right and and just so that people know there's a there's a book out there that's called in the company of family. How to thrive when business is personal.



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Michael Palumbos: And the theme throughout the book is talking about these boundaries and you know what you should be doing with them.



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Michael Palumbos: So we're glad that you wrote the book on it and Paul and I are here to add some flavor and color to the context of what you have already researched and put together. Absolutely.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: We all have our thoughts and that's the fun thing about this venue, how we see them what they are, how they're important. They Paul, thank you for your graciousness



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Michael Palumbos: So back to you on you know what our boundaries, when, why are they important and failing businesses.



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Paul Edelman: Oh, so



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Paul Edelman: From my point of view, a boundary is is a structure and it performs a certain function provide separation. So you could think of it.



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Paul Edelman: Well, you know, we think of structures, there are physical structures that provide separation, like a fence or a wall or a door separates but it allows us to pass through. But there are other kinds of structures. So I can imagine psychological structures like for example a baby.



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Paul Edelman: When it's growing it develops a sense of him or herself as being separate from the mother initially that doesn't exist but but over time that structure or that boundary is created in the child's mind through experience.



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Paul Edelman: In relationships we have with



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Paul Edelman: Structures as well, like a limit on how close. I'm willing to get to somebody or to let them get to me physically or metaphorically.



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Paul Edelman: And within families. We have structures or boundaries. Like, for example, the family therapists will talk about the parental subsystem and the sibling subsystem and they talked about maintaining a good boundary between those systems.



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Paul Edelman: Finally, within a business. There are various structures, you know, might have rules and an employee handbook. You know that that set a limit on the number of paid sick days or



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Paul Edelman: We might have reserved parking spots or the separation between the labor and management or between manufacturing and sales. So that's, that's one way of looking at it. That'd be curious to hear how Melissa sees it.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Thankful well for me, Paul. You did a great job of saying they're all types of boundaries from the physical, you know, like something as his



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Mighty as a wall to a parking space, you know, maybe a little sign says, you know, like CEO or even that personal space.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Of proximity with with people boundaries really are everywhere and take all shapes and forms depending on what their purpose is specifically, but I'll keep it simple and just say a boundaries. Anything whose purpose is to let it the good I keep out the bad



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And that can be as you know is, you know, ordinary as I'm born with skin.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Goodness, to keep my organs in and to keep the germs out. It can be as simple yet profound as you know stripes of paint on highway that keep the cars and their respective lanes and then keep us safe.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: They can be our words, I think, is one thing that Paul didn't specifically mentioned simply our words by essentially what we say yes to we're letting in



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: If we say no, we are you know keeping something out, but a boundary really can be simplified to say, is anything



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Tangible or, you know, not met, metaphorically. He's purposes. Linda good and keep out the bad, and when we make it that simple, hey, wouldn't say I want what those things are working in my life.



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Michael Palumbos: Love it. That's and that keeps it really simple, but you're absolutely right. That's a lead in the good let out the bad



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: So simple principle, but what we're going to get into not always easy.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know what is good, what is bad or even those competing goods, you're competing past or different roles different priorities different timelines that the application is where the challenges. So let's keep it simple. While we can to help us and the more challenging parts. Great. So



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Michael Palumbos: I'm going to ask you, Melissa, when we talk about, you know, what are some of the common myths about boundaries. You know, I guess I wouldn't have even thought about the myths around them. So I'd like this concept to walk us through it now.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Well, I'll say so myth. You know, like reasons people may not want to have boundaries or they may have some resistance to it.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: I'll even back step and say the most common response I get whenever I start to talk to folks about boundaries is a never knew boundaries existed.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: So how can we put them to work for us. If we don't even know they exist. But then the second thing which really gets more directly into being a myth. The second most common response I get is, I felt boundaries were all about walls.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And absolutely, some of them are if there's something significant value and a significant risk. Don't we want walls, you know, protecting us, however, you know, when



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: They're actually most boundaries and we're like offense. Again let in fence with the gate, letting the good keep out the bad



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And we want that, you know, a lot of the boundaries that we talked about her in the context of relationships with other people. We want that connection we need that connection.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And so having boundaries, again, that just serve that purpose to let in the good and keep out the bad, and one of the other Mrs around, you know, do I have a right do I have a right to say no to people that love you have a right to say no if it's going to hurt their feelings.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And so that's one of the other Mrs that uncertainty of Do I even have a right to to have boundaries. It was going to be an inconvenience to to other people.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But I would say, and we're going to impact more today we have a responsibility.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: To have boundaries, even with those precious relationships because if we don't have something again working for those precious relationships to let him the good and keep out the bad



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: What's going to happen but navigating that well, knowing you know what we want those boundaries to be that's that's the opportunity



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Michael Palumbos: Paul anything anything you'd like to add when your boundaries and how you know how people react, just to just the thought of boundaries.



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Paul Edelman: Well, I think that sometimes when people hear that term, it, it may seem a little abstract



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Paul Edelman: You know,



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Paul Edelman: But there's some everyday terms that that are helpful that sort of overlap with the concept of boundary. So when we're talking about



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Paul Edelman: What are somebody's rules or what are their responsibilities are. What are the limits that we have to adhere to these are all examples of boundaries. So if you kind of think of some of these more general terms, it helps to make it feel more familiar for people



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Michael Palumbos: We throw it. You know what you said earlier to and talking about you know the the parking space and you use the your first job at at AMP T. We're talking about



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Michael Palumbos: And it's maybe it's just, are we taking the time to be thought filled and purposeful about the boundaries around us and that you know because it's work right. It gets difficult it's you were so busy doing



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Michael Palumbos: We're not often taking the time to think, you know, because we're it just life is busy, and I think this year of all years



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Michael Palumbos: We my team and I have found, and I don't know if you're following the same thing that here we are in the third quarter, you know, for the in the fourth quarter. Now, but having our best year in business and



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Michael Palumbos: In we're kind of scrambling a little bit right this moment, just for a second. You know, because we said Koba just, you know, made us all do.



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Michael Palumbos: And we had to step up and start doing things to get through that because we knew from past experience 2008 nine for us that that's the time to take action.



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Michael Palumbos: And you know, we just realized that we were so busy doing that we needed to step back and think about and



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Michael Palumbos: We're putting some boundaries backup around some of the things and you know boundary sometimes would be I would look at them as you know guardrails or boundaries right and safety nets and all those things. And it's interesting. Um, so



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Michael Palumbos: Melissa in your book.



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Michael Palumbos: You talk about 10 different principles I know we're not going to spend, we're not, we don't have the time to go through everything. But I think it would be



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Michael Palumbos: kind of important to maybe put a framework around. What are some of the principles are about me and then we can talk about that and then kind of dive into them.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Glad to, well, first I'll say that I chose to frame them as principles, because they're guideposts kind of like what you're you're saying guardrails



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Michael Palumbos: Rails very good posts, because



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: It's not absolute. It's not black and white. It's not often a matter of right or wrong, you know, it's not formulaic



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: These are principles of boundaries, meaning. These are things to think about to guide your thinking to help you weigh the options.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: weigh the pros and cons, you know, short term, long term consequences to help you discern what you want your boundaries to be



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: This okay and that's why I call them principles. Is there things to consider to guide your thinking and helping you establish and maintain your boundaries.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And one of the most important key principles of boundaries have already said, and that's consequences. You know, if there is no consequence to a boundary being violated. It's really not a boundary



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: It's a suggestion which is okay if I don't care if I get something different or it could be a threat, which is not loving



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: A consequence allows the natural feedback loop of, you know, choices and consequences to flow we reap what we sow. Said differently.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: So when I make a choice. Every choice that I make their natural consequences natural things that come as a result we're used to, often using the word consequences in a negative connotation. But there are positive consequences.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And neutral consequences, and then it can also be a mix. And so just keeping in mind that if it really is a boundary. It needs to be protected.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And there's consequences for it to be when it's when it's my highlighted again. So that gives someone a feedback loop to say, do you want to make this choice again or not Paul. I'll pick on you.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: I like to say we teach people how to treat us, but what we put up with and what we don't tolerate



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: If I actually I'm gonna I'm gonna reverse our roles. I'm going to pick on you, but I'm going to be the bad guy. If I am just nasty to you if I condescend to you and just have this



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know, harsh tone with you and you let me you're essentially creating teaching me, Melissa, it's okay for you to treat me that way.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But if he say, Melissa. I understand you're hurt, but it's really hard for me to stay in this conversation and listen when you're using that tongue or you're using that volume with me.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: That's given me feedback, a consequence for my harsh tone to say that's damaging to our relationship.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know, and invites me to rein that in to get to a place where Paul and I can have a more constructive conversation. There's a consequence to my harsh tone.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: A consequence to violating his boundary that says for us to be in a relationship. It's got to have, you know, level of respect and civility to it.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Said consequences are important principle to the boundaries and we need to be mindful, if we're going to set a boundary to be prepared to enforce it.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Because otherwise, you know, maybe Paul lets me use a harsh tone with them. Sometimes, but not always.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: I'm mad at him today and I may think today's my day. I'm going to get away with it. I'm going to test that, see if he'll let me be mean to him again.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And sometimes I'll get away with it. Sometimes I want but it kind of makes him like a slot machine. Let me see if I could get my way today.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And if not, okay, but it's worth testing because today could be that the day I'll get away with my anger, you know, being released at him. So think about what we want our boundaries to be



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Be mindful that there needs to be a consequence to enforce it needs to be a fair, you know, equitable boundary



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But really, to protect the boundary for not to be as aggression or a threat. It needs to have some natural consequences to it.



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Michael Palumbos: Interesting. That's that makes all kinds of sense because if you don't



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Michael Palumbos: Like you said, I just like to, if you don't have consequences to it, then it's just, it's not a boundary. It's just a suggestion.



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Michael Palumbos: Paul anything in a way. When you hear that, what does that bring up for you.



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Paul Edelman: Well, the interesting thing that comes to mind as I was listening to Melissa is that



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Paul Edelman: in a business setting boundaries help to define the culture.



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Paul Edelman: So you know I gave the example earlier of the executive parking spots with executive dining room or something like that or the boundary between the front office and the shop floor, whatever.



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Paul Edelman: But when we live in a family or when we live in a business.



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Paul Edelman: culture, the culture that family, the culture that that business, something that becomes invisible to us.



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Paul Edelman: It, it's very visible to an outsider who walks in, you know, there aren't so many companies today that have reserved parking spots to executives and so on. So if you were to walk into a parking lot and see that



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Paul Edelman: It would jump out at you today. I'd say, Oh, wow. That says something about the culture here.



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Paul Edelman: Um, but for people who've worked in a company like that for 30 years you know they don't even see the side, it doesn't register.



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Paul Edelman: And what also doesn't register to Melissa's point is the consequences so they don't step back and say to themselves,



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Paul Edelman: What are the consequences of having this boundary between the workers and the managers in this company, how does that affect morale. How does that affect the flow of ideas or whatever.



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Paul Edelman: Your



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Michael Palumbos: I love that we, you just said something really important because I don't want to miss that. How does this affect the flow of ideas is a concept that you know I just



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Michael Palumbos: Really want to latch on to, because oftentimes we may see that you know the family has great energy and and vision and you know so many times, you know, we, the non family members in the family business, you know, because of what the boundaries because of the, you know,



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Michael Palumbos: The, you know, the hierarchy or whatnot, you don't get that free flow of ideas and far too often. Some of the best ideas are coming from outside of us and being open, so I apologize for interrupting, but I just thought it was super important to latch on to that.



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Paul Edelman: Yeah, so that this is what Melissa was talking about when she's talking about letting into good you know if if you have too rigid a boundary



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Paul Edelman: Then the ideas from from let's say shops are workers are going to percolate up to managers who are in a position to, you know, allocate the money to implement them.



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Michael Palumbos: Great.



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Michael Palumbos: Melissa, would you like to share one of the other principles.



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Michael Palumbos: I know we're going to have time for a



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Michael Palumbos: Few of them, and then I'm I know you've got some some examples and stories and you want to talk about how to effectively add boundaries. When they aren't currently in place. So we're going to get to all of those things. But let's maybe get another one of your favorite principles. Absolutely.



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Well, I do have favorites because it seems there are some that are more foundational than others that consequences when, again, it's really not a boundary. If they are not consequences. And another important principle is



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I'm kind of going in my head. Which one do I pick which one do I pick



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But responsibility. Again I alluded to this when we're talking about the miss you know sometimes folks. Wonder if they have a right



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: To have boundaries and the reframe that I would suggest is, I have a responsibility because



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: I am responsible for myself and in each person that I'm in a relationship with whether that's more of a transactional



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Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know, like at the grocery store or relational like a family member, we are each responsible for ourselves as individuals and have a right to be unique and distinct



00:22:29.400 --> 00:22:39.810

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: So as an individual, I have a right you know they have my own personality and preferences and values, you know, I have my thoughts. I have my feelings and I'm responsible for them.



00:22:41.250 --> 00:22:49.350

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Once we get into a relationship we start to overlap, our lives. And we've got to figure out in that space of relationship.



00:22:49.920 --> 00:23:00.990

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: How to honor the other person that we're in the relationship with and their unique characteristics and preferences and to figure out how to be a way and not just to me.



00:23:02.430 --> 00:23:09.630

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: So sometimes you know for relationships to be healthy. We have to pray or as we ever may sometimes, but not all the time.



00:23:10.230 --> 00:23:11.760

Because otherwise more time.



00:23:13.590 --> 00:23:21.480

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: For relationships to be healthy. Sometimes we have to prioritize we our relationship over me.



00:23:22.470 --> 00:23:30.990

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And sometimes you you know over over me. So we're, we're an individual, you know, we can focus on our own thoughts and our priorities and our values.



00:23:31.590 --> 00:23:42.150

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But again, when we want to overlap and share our lives with other people. We've got to figure out how to share that space, you know, quote unquote metaphorical space together some things we have in common.



00:23:43.230 --> 00:23:50.700

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: shared interests hobbies shared skills. Other things we have differ and they may be complimentary differences.



00:23:51.150 --> 00:23:58.050

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And example I often use is, you know, from a very traditional, you know, like marriage. Maybe the husband focuses on



00:23:58.380 --> 00:24:04.260

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know, like working, you know, outside the home and maybe the wife has more of the responsibility for the children.



00:24:04.590 --> 00:24:16.590

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And supporting them in their education. Those are complementary skill sets complimentary differences and those can be things that grow us together. But what about those rough edges that differ amongst us



00:24:18.270 --> 00:24:28.260

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know when you forget to again just a silly. You know, we do forget about the toothpaste cap back on, how do we stay in relationship when you want put the cap back on the toothpaste.



00:24:29.160 --> 00:24:45.540

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Very simple ordinary you know thing, but those day to day irritations that get under us. How do we stay in relationship, you know, without letting those differences be divisive for us. And one of the principles that can be so key to that is recognizing I am responsible for me.



00:24:46.650 --> 00:25:04.530

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You're responsible for you all are responsible for your thoughts for your feelings for your behaviors for your values, but I'm really need to be responsive to you. I need to recognize that my choices impact you because we're in a relationship.



00:25:06.600 --> 00:25:15.060

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And that can be hard, an important distinction to know that we are what we are responsible for us being responsive to other people.



00:25:15.810 --> 00:25:30.330

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And valuing that relationship can be an important understanding to to have Michael. That is not my best teaching on the principle of responsibility. So help me out and tell me what was not clear. And in that



00:25:30.360 --> 00:25:46.170

Michael Palumbos: No, yeah, I think we're starting to hear, but let's take it into maybe Paul, can you, I don't know if you're what you're thinking about, but inside the family business. When you hear that, can you kind of run with them. And I'm going to come back to you on that. Melissa.



00:25:47.580 --> 00:25:48.900

Paul Edelman: Yeah, so, so



00:25:50.820 --> 00:25:52.200

Paul Edelman: You know the broader question here is,



00:25:53.490 --> 00:25:58.590

Paul Edelman: Why are the boundary wire boundaries so important in a family business and and Melissa does



00:25:58.980 --> 00:26:06.630

Paul Edelman: The community, a big service. When I say community. I mean, the family business community by calling attention to boundaries and their, their key role.



00:26:07.170 --> 00:26:15.420

Paul Edelman: And I think the subtitle of her book has to do with how to thrive as a family, and in business. I may be getting a word or two wrong, but that's the essence of it.



00:26:16.080 --> 00:26:26.820

Paul Edelman: And so if you think about our desire to have the family and the business thrive. You know, we need to be able to to love and to work. I think Freud said



00:26:28.020 --> 00:26:43.230

Paul Edelman: But in other words you want to feel a sense of relatedness, or group cohesion or solidarity as a family, and you have to be able to work together effectively to set goals or make decisions and solve problems and and this is not easy.



00:26:44.910 --> 00:26:55.230

Paul Edelman: Because we have different roles. We have our roles as members of the family as members of the business as owners, you know, there's a so called three circle model of business.



00:26:55.830 --> 00:27:06.720

Paul Edelman: And across each of those boundaries between the different roles there you know there are differences different requirements of what's required of me and what's required of we, you know,



00:27:09.810 --> 00:27:13.710

Paul Edelman: And conflict stems from those differences. So



00:27:15.780 --> 00:27:24.600

Paul Edelman: We're never going to get rid of all the conflicts that are inherent in being part of a family or a family business because of this complexity, but



00:27:25.680 --> 00:27:38.640

Paul Edelman: Being able to recognize the constructive role that boundaries can play and regulating things is important and and so I think the kinds of principles that Melissa's talk talking about are very useful.



00:27:39.600 --> 00:27:47.550

Michael Palumbos: When you say responsibility, Paul, you know, it was between the two of you that I just kind of pulled this picture together. See if you can help me through this



00:27:48.000 --> 00:27:57.780

Michael Palumbos: But you know responsibility to me responsibility to we and then when you throw that into the context of a family business that gets multiplied



00:27:57.990 --> 00:28:10.620

Michael Palumbos: By me as a manager me as a father me as a brother me as a you know me as the as the head of the company and and taking the time.



00:28:10.980 --> 00:28:21.690

Michael Palumbos: To think about your responsibility in each of those me we situation. Sometimes the we when we're making a business decision as a family. It's time to say



00:28:22.140 --> 00:28:24.420

Michael Palumbos: Look, we've discussed this to the nth degree.



00:28:25.110 --> 00:28:35.400

Michael Palumbos: Now it's time to just get on board and go with it. Whether you voted for it or against it. It's a week. And that's, that's your responsibility at that point to be able to take that ball and run with it.



00:28:35.700 --> 00:28:46.140

Michael Palumbos: The other side is to the me is if you feel that we're making a decision for the company that's against the values that we have established the culture that we have



00:28:46.470 --> 00:29:02.280

Michael Palumbos: And other people are just missing this, then it's the meat part, I have to stand up and continually be responsible to say, you know, we talked about this, how come, how come I'm the only one that can see that this is going hard against the core values that we've established



00:29:02.880 --> 00:29:03.240




00:29:06.810 --> 00:29:07.080

Paul Edelman: Okay.



00:29:07.110 --> 00:29:07.710

Go ahead.



00:29:08.790 --> 00:29:14.370

Paul Edelman: Well, I just want to say that that was well put. Michael, basically we have multiple ways.



00:29:15.450 --> 00:29:24.780

Paul Edelman: And multiple means Melissa earlier said that it's going to get more complex. And I think this is what she was alluding to. But what would you say is



00:29:24.840 --> 00:29:32.280

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: It says there's overlapping roles which Paul and Michael you based tab. So the responsibilities of being a, you know,



00:29:32.610 --> 00:29:40.500

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Will say a manager and leader in the business those responsibilities are different than the responsibilities when I'm in my role of being a family member.



00:29:41.160 --> 00:29:56.520

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But the people I'm related to, to the extent that they are family members are the same. And so it can be hard to to be responsible for my role as a company leader and make choices that I never going to disappoint you know like co workers.



00:29:58.320 --> 00:30:07.380

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Hard enough of their just co workers, sometimes, but if they are also a family member. And I'm worried about how those ripple effects from this business relationship and decision.



00:30:07.710 --> 00:30:20.160

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Rebels over to this family relationships that can be very difficult, but that is, you know, an inherent responsibility of being a business leader is to you know make these difficult choices and implement them.



00:30:21.030 --> 00:30:25.530

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: To lead the company and not let it be, you know, a democracy.



00:30:26.280 --> 00:30:36.450

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: For everyone you know get everyone may get a voice, they may get to express their opinion and contribute to, you know, the decisions being made. But ultimately, the leaders responsible for making those decisions.



00:30:36.900 --> 00:30:46.230

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And Michael year challenges disagree but commit which can be hard, and it can be easier if folks have had, you know, cast away and it can be easier for them to buy in.



00:30:46.620 --> 00:30:53.670

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But, but it can be hard, but that's the responsibility of a leader is to make the final choice and then move forward with it.



00:30:54.120 --> 00:31:03.270

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But again, just that challenge when that when you're interacting with people who you share that family relationship with and you know it may impact those relationships can be so hard.



00:31:04.890 --> 00:31:12.600

Paul Edelman: That there's the apocryphal story of the patriarch in a family business with the different caps. Have you heard that one.



00:31:13.770 --> 00:31:14.070

Paul Edelman: Again guess



00:31:15.240 --> 00:31:18.150

Paul Edelman: Everybody's probably heard it's all run through it very quickly, but the



00:31:18.630 --> 00:31:29.790

Paul Edelman: The Father, who's the CEO calls his son who's the vice president into the office and the sun hasn't been performing. So he says, well, first of all, he puts on a CAP that says



00:31:31.290 --> 00:31:37.290

Paul Edelman: You know, it's got the business logo on it so everybody knows he's in his business role right and he says to the sun.



00:31:37.620 --> 00:31:56.580

Paul Edelman: Sun, you know, you just haven't been cutting it. We've given you several choices and unfortunately have to fire you. And then he takes off that cap and he puts on another captain says, Dad. And he says, Son, I'm sorry sorry that you just lost your job. How can I help



00:31:58.620 --> 00:32:13.980

Michael Palumbos: And it's it's it's it's that you know cartoon. I think that's been passed around in our industry, you know, for years, but it's so important to realize that, you know,



00:32:15.060 --> 00:32:18.780

Michael Palumbos: I love the title of your book going in the company of family.



00:32:19.530 --> 00:32:27.690

Michael Palumbos: And it's, you know, when you when you when you when you dismiss the family piece of the family business. It's there's a there's a time when it's



00:32:28.110 --> 00:32:40.920

Michael Palumbos: You know, really simple. Mom and Dad start the business, you know, right, Mom and Dad are out there, they're just trying to make ends meet. They're just trying to put food on the table for everybody and they come up with this idea and they get good at that thing.



00:32:41.520 --> 00:32:56.550

Michael Palumbos: Right, and then g two comes in, as we call them generation to and they come in and say, you know, we can do what mom and dad did I, we, we saw how hard they work. We're going to, you know, little manages it may even maybe even make it better.



00:32:57.750 --> 00:33:06.090

Michael Palumbos: And they all came from the same house. So even though they may have separate values themselves. They're really close.



00:33:06.570 --> 00:33:15.750

Michael Palumbos: And their culture is really related. And so it's easy to do that stuff, but it's the moment you break to generation three



00:33:16.230 --> 00:33:25.140

Michael Palumbos: They've grown up in different houses, they, you know, there's different moms or dads and, you know, so you have now they're cousins and that piece.



00:33:25.440 --> 00:33:37.620

Michael Palumbos: Is such a difficult transition. It's probably one of the biggest pieces if you know to why that old you know the proverb of the shirt sleeves, the shirt sleeves and three generations.



00:33:37.980 --> 00:33:51.870

Michael Palumbos: That rarely has anything to do with their ability to do great work or to do that thing that they do so well. It's that complication of values and family, the communication and trust. Right.



00:33:53.790 --> 00:34:08.460

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: It does. It gets much more complex wasn't moves behind the the sibling generation in two cousins, you know, and degree. And then in laws, you know, do you invite in laws into the business or not, etc, etc, etc.



00:34:09.960 --> 00:34:11.730

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: The challenges grow exponentially.



00:34:11.910 --> 00:34:17.070

Michael Palumbos: Yeah. Would you mind taking us through you know you've been doing this work for a while.



00:34:17.280 --> 00:34:26.580

Michael Palumbos: And you probably both have some stories that kind of exemplify this. And like we said, we've only hit on so far. Two of the principles out of the in the books. There's lots of other learning



00:34:26.850 --> 00:34:32.970

Michael Palumbos: Tools in there, don't, don't miss that. But walk me walk us through a just a live example so people can hear it.



00:34:35.310 --> 00:34:38.940

Michael Palumbos: Is that for me to get started, or Paul, do you, if you don't mind.



00:34:42.120 --> 00:34:42.570

Michael Palumbos: That'd be great.



00:34:43.770 --> 00:34:44.280

Michael Palumbos: Maybe



00:34:45.450 --> 00:34:49.410

Michael Palumbos: Maybe there's a story about two daughters. Exactly.



00:34:49.470 --> 00:34:50.280

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Going to get it there.



00:34:50.970 --> 00:34:51.510

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: This is a



00:34:51.870 --> 00:35:00.420

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Well, I share this because they're all the stories in the book are based upon one or more actual clients that have worked with, but it's important to say that you know anything, identifying



00:35:00.750 --> 00:35:08.580

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know, has been changed to protect that. So when I say the wells family. This is not a literal family, but it is inspired by true events.



00:35:08.970 --> 00:35:19.740

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And it's an easy fact pattern does to set up the illustrates that challenge. We've been alluding to, you know, good and bad out. What does that look like when you've got these different roles of life competing



00:35:20.370 --> 00:35:30.270

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And so, Jay wells started wells electric and at some point his two daughters. Did it start to join him in the business very well skilled for it and they had some non family managers.



00:35:31.590 --> 00:35:41.070

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And about a couple of years before Jay was scheduled to retire, about two years you know he'd been very intentional, unlike you know kind of



00:35:41.880 --> 00:35:50.430

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: To his credit, he's been very intentional about transitioning leadership and responsibility to the non family and family managers.



00:35:51.030 --> 00:35:59.280

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But about two years before his that plan for retirement. He started noticing his mind. So it just was not working the way always had



00:35:59.970 --> 00:36:16.770

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: He's like, Yeah, you know, I'm right at 70, you know, maybe this is the normal aging and either the business members thought the same thing, but then they started to notice the pace picked up and unfortunately the neurologists confirm this is not just aging, this is this is dementia.



00:36:17.790 --> 00:36:26.970

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And actually actually is Alzheimer's and so for Jay himself, he wouldn't they continue to be involved in business and he had a lot that he could share



00:36:27.570 --> 00:36:38.100

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: at a personal level, his doctor said stay actively involved socially mentally, physically, that's good for you to help slow the progression of the dementia.



00:36:38.940 --> 00:36:49.530

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And so good in look like a continuing to work at the personal level, and even at a professional level, you know, in the business because he had good to offer to the business. They wanted to let it in



00:36:50.460 --> 00:36:58.980

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: However, there were times where Jay, you know, he was sharp his attack and there were times where Jay, he would speak.



00:36:59.490 --> 00:37:05.190

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And it was sound like a jumbled salad. It would be like, I don't even. That doesn't even make sense.



00:37:05.730 --> 00:37:11.730

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And the unfortunate thing was, it was, it was really impossible to predict when it would happen, how long it would happen



00:37:12.150 --> 00:37:19.020

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And so for Jay is still the CEO of this business being the primary person just check on you know check on the job sites and



00:37:19.560 --> 00:37:25.830

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Tend to the relationships with clients and prospects. It was really dangerous. You know, like from a reputation.



00:37:26.460 --> 00:37:40.950

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Standpoint, and so for the business. What did it look like to let the good in of jays expertise and desire to work but keep the bad out of that unpredictability of how his mind, you know, and ability to communicate was going to work.



00:37:41.850 --> 00:37:58.530

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And so that's an example of when we get to where you know what looks good for the individual how to you and you know Jay is a professional. How do you let in that good but protect against the risks that I created at the business level and especially when you want to on your dad.



00:37:59.730 --> 00:38:07.470

You want to honor the CEO met he's he's one of those. He is a such a risk factor right now out of his control.



00:38:10.350 --> 00:38:25.170

Michael Palumbos: Good example that's a hard to. I can't imagine when you were coaching through that, you know, I can only imagine some of the conversations. How did you get from point A to point B of setting those boundaries.



00:38:26.220 --> 00:38:27.510

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Well, he



00:38:28.680 --> 00:38:37.230

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know, first it was about grief. You know, he had to grieve the family had to grieve this this diagnosis and prognosis.



00:38:37.920 --> 00:38:48.090

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: But then it was very quickly necessary to make decisions about you know how to protect the, you know, protect the business promote yourself but protect the business.



00:38:48.480 --> 00:38:54.480

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And gratefully. He had a very strong relationship with not only his daughters, but the other two non family.



00:38:54.870 --> 00:39:04.890

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Leaders he'd worked. They worked with him, you know, for like 25 and 30 years and so just that great respect he knew whenever they said to him, Jay.



00:39:05.250 --> 00:39:12.240

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: We need to have someone go. This was the boundary. They said, you know, take it and go to these meetings by himself anymore.



00:39:12.660 --> 00:39:27.330

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: One of us is going to need to accompany that was a boundary, he it was tough for day but he had that heart connection such respect for all four of the other leaders that he was able to you know tolerate that more



00:39:27.990 --> 00:39:32.670

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Because he knew it was coming from that that place of love and respect. Perfect.



00:39:34.590 --> 00:39:45.660

Michael Palumbos: Paul when, you know, thinking about families that you've worked with family businesses that you've worked with and boundaries is did as an example, come to mind for you.



00:39:46.140 --> 00:39:46.530

Paul Edelman: You are



00:39:47.940 --> 00:39:56.220

Paul Edelman: With generational transitions, where you have a say a patriarchal matriarchal who's, who's running the business and and



00:39:57.420 --> 00:40:00.330

Paul Edelman: They're contemplating a handoff to a son or daughter.



00:40:01.350 --> 00:40:04.710

Paul Edelman: I can think of one case, for example, but in general the the



00:40:05.760 --> 00:40:07.830

Paul Edelman: The boundary issue comes in because



00:40:09.240 --> 00:40:13.920

Paul Edelman: There's a tendency on the part of the parent to



00:40:16.080 --> 00:40:29.460

Paul Edelman: overstep their boundaries and and do things for the child because you know that's the way it was when they were growing up, and that continues into adulthood. So



00:40:30.420 --> 00:40:41.160

Paul Edelman: It's important for the younger person who's going to be taking over to be able to defend their boundaries and take on more and more responsibility over time.



00:40:43.950 --> 00:40:46.320

Paul Edelman: Sometimes it's difficult for them to do that.



00:40:47.490 --> 00:40:51.720

Paul Edelman: In Melissa's book she talks about the difference between hurting and harming



00:40:52.740 --> 00:41:05.550

Paul Edelman: But you can imagine a continuum from from on the one hand, you know, just some temporary ruffling feathers are hurting feelings. On the other hand, really doing damage to someone and



00:41:06.600 --> 00:41:20.220

Paul Edelman: People sometimes go to the extreme, and they're thinking they imagine that if if they stand up to their father that it's going to, you know, hurt the father, you know, kill the father and the fantasy right and the myths.



00:41:22.170 --> 00:41:31.530

Paul Edelman: And so that may keep them from asserting themselves and, you know, they may be torn, they may have mixed feelings you know they have an intense love and gratitude and so on.



00:41:31.890 --> 00:41:40.590

Paul Edelman: And at the same time. That's competing with the part of them that wants to step up. So oftentimes it can take some some work to



00:41:41.640 --> 00:41:46.830

Paul Edelman: Get them over the hump so that they can assert themselves, but in one example that I saw.



00:41:48.390 --> 00:41:58.830

Paul Edelman: The father said to the sun. Look, when you're ready, you can take over. And for a long time. The sun didn't feel ready. But finally, when the, when the



00:42:00.360 --> 00:42:09.450

Paul Edelman: Sun felt ready. He went to the phone said, okay, and as you would imagine the father's response with something like Well not so fast.



00:42:12.480 --> 00:42:21.240

Paul Edelman: But the sun was prepared for it and he stood up for himself. And when he did that in a clear way.



00:42:22.530 --> 00:42:24.870

Paul Edelman: The Father, step back, you know, he said.



00:42:26.580 --> 00:42:33.840

Paul Edelman: In his own mind. I think what he was saying to himself is. That's what I've been waiting for. That's what I wanted to see. Now you can take over.



00:42:35.220 --> 00:42:43.080

Michael Palumbos: That's great. It's, it's very, you know, creating those boundaries and boundaries are created.



00:42:43.410 --> 00:42:51.840

Michael Palumbos: Through conversation and these, you know. Anyway, I know we're going to talk about effectively adding those, but I'm just seeing those that creation of those boundaries through



00:42:52.260 --> 00:43:04.350

Michael Palumbos: Good conversation healthy conflict and being able to get from point A to point B. I have been doing this for a long time working with family owned businesses now and rarely



00:43:05.130 --> 00:43:17.550

Michael Palumbos: Do you see you know it go perfectly smooth, but when you do, you just sit there and be like you. You just, you just want to clap and, you know, give them all high fives and I just had somebody on the show last week.



00:43:17.940 --> 00:43:24.960

Michael Palumbos: And the father, you know, basically, you know, said to himself, my son who's in his 20s AND THE KID WAS IN HIS 20s.



00:43:26.070 --> 00:43:32.580

Michael Palumbos: Has something that there's a fire a drive that I don't even seeing myself in my 50s.



00:43:33.690 --> 00:43:44.730

Michael Palumbos: And he turned over the CEO role when the kid was 26 and I had that was unheard of for somebody to have that level of purposeful thinking to say



00:43:45.000 --> 00:43:55.770

Michael Palumbos: You know, where could this be if you know so he had the money to fund things the businesses 10 times what it was when the kid first took over a CEO.



00:43:56.130 --> 00:44:02.640

Michael Palumbos: And so just really neat to see those kinds of things. And, you know, and he he has to remind himself and, you know,



00:44:03.150 --> 00:44:12.240

Michael Palumbos: I didn't see it as boundaries. When we're having the conversation, but he had to remind himself constantly that I'm the money behind this and not the CEO anymore.



00:44:12.570 --> 00:44:17.640

Michael Palumbos: And I can't you know it's it but he's keeps working at that and it's something that he has to



00:44:18.120 --> 00:44:29.790

Michael Palumbos: constantly remind himself love because he's so funds to so many times, jump back into that role that's I didn't see that before. But even when you talk about it. That's really neat to see. Thank you.



00:44:31.710 --> 00:44:40.230

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: As a cool story. So he saw in his son, despite his age, some some wisdom and inspiration and he said that was good. I want that good in this company.



00:44:40.650 --> 00:44:55.020

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And essentially demoted himself in some way or a lateral move changed his role in the company and gave that responsibility and authority to his son, despite a day, which was remarkable and a tremendous active courage and humility to to do



00:44:55.650 --> 00:44:57.300

Paul Edelman: Yeah yeah



00:44:59.340 --> 00:45:00.240

Michael Palumbos: Go ahead, Paul.



00:45:00.630 --> 00:45:02.820

Paul Edelman: Well, it just reminds us that



00:45:04.170 --> 00:45:13.770

Paul Edelman: The parable about shirtsleeves this shirtsleeves has its exceptions. Yes. And, and there are some families where people do very well.



00:45:14.160 --> 00:45:21.990

Paul Edelman: I had a client who sold his business for a billion dollars and afterwards he was in the fortunate position to be able to fund his



00:45:22.320 --> 00:45:38.610

Paul Edelman: His sons in business and one bought a company and one founded a company and the father had good boundaries and rather than than meddling in those businesses or saying, you know, sink or swim. He was like a good board member know he would



00:45:39.810 --> 00:45:50.040

Paul Edelman: Intervene only to the extent necessary to be helpful. But, but he was able to to balance it so that his sons could still feel it. They were really in charge.



00:45:51.270 --> 00:45:51.720

Paul Edelman: And



00:45:51.840 --> 00:45:55.110

Michael Palumbos: That's a really great way to think about it when I, you know,



00:45:56.220 --> 00:46:05.580

Michael Palumbos: In the book I wrote a bunch of years ago, I talked about the the parent transition. And I think it's just it's a nice picture.



00:46:06.510 --> 00:46:15.510

Michael Palumbos: And again, it's in what it's doing is setting up boundaries and it's like, you know, up to a certain age and for every child that's different. You must parent them.



00:46:15.840 --> 00:46:24.120

Michael Palumbos: You have to say no, you have to put up the things you have to do for them, you know, all of those pieces but somewhere along the lines.



00:46:24.480 --> 00:46:37.530

Michael Palumbos: You have to transform and make that transition into the coach you have to allow them to make the mistakes and put the piece, you know, allow them to hit the brick wall allow them to motivate themselves allow them



00:46:38.010 --> 00:46:50.100

Michael Palumbos: Yada, yada. You get the picture, but then they're also. And again, different for each kid. There's probably a time when we really need to start taking on that colleague role.



00:46:50.850 --> 00:47:05.100

Michael Palumbos: Just, you know, I may be 50 you're 26, you know, but you know, you would you finished college I finished college work where even though there's a big age discrepancy we're much more alike as human beings.



00:47:06.030 --> 00:47:18.930

Michael Palumbos: And so it's very, it's hard for us to think about those differentiators those boundaries that need to be put up to be able to make those transitions and think through those things sometimes



00:47:19.320 --> 00:47:22.770

Paul Edelman: Yeah, so sometimes you just renegotiating them, so to speak.



00:47:22.980 --> 00:47:25.170

Paul Edelman: Right there, but they have to be adjusted.



00:47:25.440 --> 00:47:42.390

Michael Palumbos: Right, Melissa. Let's start diving into, you know, what are some of these ways that we can effectively add boundaries, especially when they are you know currently in place, or if they're in place, but maybe they're not effective.



00:47:43.230 --> 00:47:51.210

Michael Palumbos: Or their hurtful. They're not, you know, not helping in the right manner is how, what are some of the effective ways to do this.



00:47:52.350 --> 00:48:04.080

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Well, I'll say that, you know, creating maintaining healthy, effective boundaries is a skill, you know, instead, when we're developing any skill, it makes sense to



00:48:04.710 --> 00:48:15.030

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know, start small and build from there. So if there is not harm going on. Paul mentioned earlier, the difference between hurt and harm if there's not harm.



00:48:15.540 --> 00:48:22.680

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Going on, it's just not as good as it could be as good as it we want it to be that it makes sense to start small. If there is harm you know



00:48:23.040 --> 00:48:32.100

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: I'll table that for conversation get there's a different sort of response to that, but let's just say they're not as good as they could be. They're not as good as we want them to be.



00:48:33.000 --> 00:48:43.290

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Start start small practice and even practice with people who are likely because Paul use the word meaning you know renegotiating



00:48:43.590 --> 00:48:49.170

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: When we want to change things that impact relationships. You know, it's like if you can picture a mobile



00:48:49.620 --> 00:49:00.480

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know family systems and even these these business units. If you think about a mobile like would hang ever in a crib. You know, you've got these enter you know you've got the horse and the cow and the big and the sheep.



00:49:01.710 --> 00:49:12.960

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know, they're independent, but they're also inter dependent you tap the little pig, you know, and to different degrees, it affects the other barnyard animals because they because they are interdependent.



00:49:13.500 --> 00:49:21.780

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And so it really is a dance you know that you can you can coach, but you can't absolutely choreographic as there's this back and forth negotiation.



00:49:22.620 --> 00:49:31.350

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And so to practice being more consistent where our yes means yes and are no means now I can be helpful to start practicing with those people who are



00:49:31.710 --> 00:49:50.940

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Quote unquote safe, meaning they will support and work with us to help the boundaries to be more effective because they recognize again. As for our best interest is, is that something against me. It's meant to be for our collective interest and and really that goal is for is for



00:49:52.920 --> 00:50:02.100

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Can grow it between what I say on the outside. And what I feel on the inside. So sometimes, you know, Michael, I would say, yes, I'd love to come to the party and



00:50:02.430 --> 00:50:09.450

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know, I'd love to join you on that committee for the family business on the inside. I'm going. I just don't have time for this business at all.



00:50:10.110 --> 00:50:20.130

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: This is not something I'm interested in. So, you know, having her yesterday. Yes. And our naming Janeiro is about, you know, letting the insides versus the outsides match. And sometimes that's



00:50:21.300 --> 00:50:28.560

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Simply essentially telling the truth. If I really don't want to be a part of that committee. Let me say no. However,



00:50:29.040 --> 00:50:33.900

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: As I said earlier, there are times in every type of relationship where we put the way above the me



00:50:34.590 --> 00:50:45.300

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: So if you say, Melissa, we have out with this committee and I feel like I felt like this is something that I need to do. I don't want to do it, but I'm going to give Michael my yes, then it's a matter of lining up my insides.



00:50:46.560 --> 00:50:58.980

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: With my outsides. And that means having a boundary with myself when I go to that committee. I'm not fuming on the inside. I can't believe I'm here, blah, blah, blah. BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR MY, YES, I said yes.



00:51:00.270 --> 00:51:02.220

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Let me behave. Yes.



00:51:03.570 --> 00:51:12.030

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And say, oh, it's in as our insides and outsides matching up being as a person versus but then again with with other people.



00:51:13.590 --> 00:51:19.530

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Like the role play earlier with with Paul if he says, you know, Melissa, I really want us to work on.



00:51:19.770 --> 00:51:28.380

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: You know having better relationships and better boundaries and one of those things I had in mind is that we, you know, started, let's just let her tone. You know, when we caught each other.



00:51:29.010 --> 00:51:41.430

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: That's a new boundary of the tone of how we speak to each other and we agree. Yep. This is a way we can make our relationship better. Let's support each other and hold each other accountable and then we agree to it. I may not like when I'm you know



00:51:42.660 --> 00:51:47.820

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: I'm really upset and I want to use a harsh tone with Paul, but if he will, you know, be supportive and say, hey,



00:51:49.020 --> 00:52:00.840

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: I know you're angry. Remember what we agreed to. He's a safe person for me to practice when we dial that down, watch my tone respect that boundary that we set for our relationship.



00:52:02.550 --> 00:52:06.990

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And again, it's it's safe that the practice building that skill.



00:52:07.860 --> 00:52:20.490

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: applying the principles, knowing how they apply. And then, again, this being applying them in those safe relationships can give me the courage and the practice to apply them in those more challenging situations.



00:52:21.120 --> 00:52:28.530

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And this is really important because, you know, one of the other things I see sometimes it's folks kind of give us a hardest light bulb goes off.



00:52:29.100 --> 00:52:35.430

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Boundaries exists and they can work for me. I want them to work for me. And both can try to make too many changes at once.



00:52:36.060 --> 00:52:49.320

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And then they don't maintain them and it creates that you know kind of slot machine sort of experience that I mentioned earlier where it sets people up. I'm not sure if she really means this if this really is a boundary, let me test it.



00:52:51.180 --> 00:53:00.300

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And that inconsistency can really undermine not only creating better boundaries but can, but can undermine the relationship help itself.



00:53:00.660 --> 00:53:13.350

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: So if there's not harm, start small. Start with safe people practice build from there. Get the strength and the courage. Oh my goodness boundaries really work for us. It's not just about me. They work for us.



00:53:13.710 --> 00:53:20.700

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: They can give me the courage to maintain and allow there to be negative consequences when a boundary is is violated or not respected.



00:53:21.930 --> 00:53:24.360

Michael Palumbos: consistency is key. That's



00:53:25.410 --> 00:53:33.210

Michael Palumbos: I want to jump in with an example of, you know, I'll use myself. Have either of you read Liz Wiseman's book multipliers.



00:53:34.320 --> 00:53:34.530

Michael Palumbos: I



00:53:36.480 --> 00:53:48.420

Michael Palumbos: Highly, highly recommend it, especially within family businesses Liz talks about, you know, the personality types. It's a multiplier. That just makes everything better as a leader.



00:53:48.870 --> 00:53:58.950

Michael Palumbos: And then the opposite of a multiplier then would be a detractor right and so it's, I'm always undermining them always cutting you know people, whatever the case may be.



00:53:59.610 --> 00:54:05.640

Michael Palumbos: But then she identified something called the diminish or she called the multiplier diminish. Sure.



00:54:05.910 --> 00:54:11.250

Michael Palumbos: And then she and then she put in the middle the accidental this diminish share



00:54:11.490 --> 00:54:23.850

Michael Palumbos: What she said is that person that really thinks they're a multiplier, they're always there. But some of their actions are diminished years and I took the darn assessment and I'm sitting here going, oh my gosh.



00:54:24.390 --> 00:54:32.070

Michael Palumbos: I'm an accidental the miniature and I don't even know it. And so I think you know what I did for my team is I



00:54:32.790 --> 00:54:42.750

Michael Palumbos: gave them the list I showed them the things that I do not buy x, you know it's you don't do. You're not doing these things on purpose, but yeah.



00:54:43.200 --> 00:54:53.910

Michael Palumbos: You know, one of the things that I would do is I would send an email at nine o'clock at night or, you know, Saturday afternoon or in just because I was working



00:54:54.510 --> 00:55:01.830

Michael Palumbos: You know, constantly I would send them the emails and they said, Mike. Every time you send us an email, we get agita



00:55:02.070 --> 00:55:11.790

Michael Palumbos: We were like, we're feeling less than because we think that we're not doing enough inside the business that would be one of those areas that we would really appreciate if you could



00:55:12.180 --> 00:55:15.990

Michael Palumbos: So, you know, now when I have those ideas. I found a little thing and outlook that says



00:55:16.200 --> 00:55:27.480

Michael Palumbos: Do not deliver before 8am on Monday morning. So they might have five emails from me that came throughout the time that I was going there, but it's set up and they know when they see it on Monday. They laugh.



00:55:27.930 --> 00:55:36.570

Michael Palumbos: But you know they appreciate not getting them popped up on their thing and feeling less than it's not a decent example.



00:55:37.200 --> 00:55:49.290

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Well Michael, you found a tool technology to help you have the type of boundaries that you want the culture as Paul was talking about earlier where there is work life balance and you're not accidentally the mentioning



00:55:49.710 --> 00:56:02.760

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Diminishing that differentiation between work and non work time for your team members by sending them an email. So it's, it's a great example. Yeah. Again let tools work for us is a great example of just



00:56:03.450 --> 00:56:18.390

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: A day to day boundary, but the difference that it can make something so simple. Yeah, even if they know you send it technically you write it over the weekend. It doesn't arrive in their mailbox until Monday morning. And that just that boundary. Yes, that's a difference for them it's



00:56:18.450 --> 00:56:23.340

Michael Palumbos: A small, small, simple tool that you know could work. And there's, what, there's probably, you know,



00:56:24.480 --> 00:56:31.680

Michael Palumbos: I have not read the book yet. I'm going to get the book. I can't wait to go through it because all of the other pieces that are in there, the more



00:56:32.100 --> 00:56:41.490

Michael Palumbos: The more we you know leaders or learners and the more as leaders of the family business that we're learning new things and exposing yourself. I always say that, you know,



00:56:41.790 --> 00:56:51.540

Michael Palumbos: Once you pour that information into somebody they're changed forever. Regardless, you can't underscore that information into that head.



00:56:51.900 --> 00:57:07.620

Michael Palumbos: And so now you know you those things muster and they take form and shape and then we grow as leaders and that's some of the most important things that we can do as leaders inside of the family business, both for what our family and for the non family members and for the business.



00:57:08.670 --> 00:57:14.370

Michael Palumbos: I'm part of a you guys have been great. This has been a really nice discussion and



00:57:14.640 --> 00:57:26.280

Michael Palumbos: I you know my gut would say that if we spent the next four hours unpacking all the other principles we can really dive into some other examples and and things, and that would be all kinds of fun for me, but I think



00:57:26.910 --> 00:57:37.050

Michael Palumbos: Since we're coming up on the top of the hour. What I'd like to do is any, anything that you wanted to say that I didn't ask, feel free to jump in, or parting thoughts and after your parting thoughts.



00:57:38.460 --> 00:57:47.520

Michael Palumbos: How can people reach you. If they want to reach out to you, you know, where can they find your book, Melissa, that kind of stuff. So Paul, I'll jump in with you.



00:57:49.020 --> 00:58:06.210

Paul Edelman: Okay. Thanks, Michael. So your story about the accidental diminish share that you discovered yourself to be raises a very important point. You know, sometimes these things that we do that aren't getting us the results that we want are outside of our awareness. Yeah, so



00:58:07.230 --> 00:58:16.890

Paul Edelman: I think that one of the key things that Melissa has done the contribution of her book, and she's raised people's awareness around this whole concept of boundaries.



00:58:17.250 --> 00:58:25.470

Paul Edelman: And so people will will be taking a look, once they read the book at how they do things and how they can do things better and



00:58:26.550 --> 00:58:44.190

Paul Edelman: The mantra that I keep in my own mind is you want to have clear goals, you want to make conscious choices and on the basis of those choices. You know, you want to try to take it effective action and that mantra applies in the domain of establishing boundaries so



00:58:45.510 --> 00:58:51.270

Paul Edelman: So I've learned a lot since reading the book and having this opportunity to discuss it with you and I appreciate it.



00:58:51.840 --> 00:58:54.330

Michael Palumbos: And how can people reach you, if they wanted to Paul.



00:58:54.450 --> 00:59:07.860

Paul Edelman: Oh, sure. So, um, my website and his family office coach or people can email Paul at family office coach but coach.



00:59:08.850 --> 00:59:09.300

Michael Palumbos: Thank you.



00:59:10.320 --> 00:59:11.130

Michael Palumbos: Melissa.



00:59:12.180 --> 00:59:18.120

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Thank you for the chance to come. It's just, it's fun to have the three of us talk about the topic that I have



00:59:18.870 --> 00:59:31.800

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Been passionate about and and help people with for for decades, just to hear how you all see you know these concepts in action in your personal life, like with your team your professional life, and with the family businesses that we serve.



00:59:32.310 --> 00:59:38.640

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: I genuinely have not seen any other kind of body body of principles body of skills.



00:59:39.000 --> 00:59:49.200

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Make as transformational of an impact is what I share in the book. And so that's exciting to me to be able to put it in. Hopefully user friendly. You know package and say, hey,



00:59:49.470 --> 01:00:00.540

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: Here's some of the most powerful stuff that I've discovered, you know, it's helping family businesses, the loving having that out there to share. If folks want to know more about the book. It's company of family calm.



01:00:01.140 --> 01:00:10.590

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And then my practice website is Melissa Mitchell would love to hear questions or comments that folks have, you know, the challenges they experience.



01:00:11.100 --> 01:00:16.920

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: With boundaries and family business, but just encourage everybody think about how, you know, helping



01:00:17.400 --> 01:00:25.830

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: A boundary, something that lesson the good keeps out the bad, you know, be more effective make some difference in in your personal life in your professional life.



01:00:26.220 --> 01:00:38.460

Melissa Mitchell-Blitch: And then again, start small, which one set that up today or this week, get it locked in place and start building from there to have had better boundaries because they really are for the collective good. They're not selfish.



01:00:39.600 --> 01:00:47.910

Michael Palumbos: They really are for the collective good. Perfect. Well, I had a blast. A appreciate both of you joining me today.



01:00:48.990 --> 01:00:55.860

Michael Palumbos: My name is Michael Columbus. This has been the family biz show with family wealth and legacy in Rochester, New York, and



01:00:56.430 --> 01:01:09.090

Michael Palumbos: If you like this conversation, then be sure to join the podcasts, you know, find the link. We're on Apple and Google and Spotify and there's other great conversations, just like this that



01:01:10.260 --> 01:01:22.530

Michael Palumbos: You should be listening to and you're welcome to check out our website family wealth and everybody. Have a great day and enjoy the rest of the week be well all. Okay, thanks.



01:01:22.560 --> 01:01:22.920

Paul Edelman: Thank you.



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