For this new blog, I want to continue the discussion from my last post regarding the similarity between coaching a sports team and managing a business. This time, I want to discuss the issue of coaching or hiring your own kids. Let’s be honest, we all want to be successful and create a great environment for our own kids in order for them to have fun and to achieve success.
It is quite often a very difficult situation to assess as you can imagine. In sports, for example, should you give special privileges to your own kid versus the rest of the team? Should s/he be captain or have better opportunities than the rest of the players? In business, should you make your own kid responsible for a department or key deliverables when this can directly affect your bottom line? Coaches and business managers must be clearly aware of their responsibilities and deliverables. They also have to offer an opportunity for everyone to learn and grow, to achieve excellence or at least appreciate those who do. How many times have we heard someone say that the person who influences them the most was their bantam coach, their second grade teacher or their first manager at the local clothing store? It may be possible that this stage triggers an effect on the value and goals of the young person as well. It will also influence the attitude towards the game and the business. As much as you want to make things happen, there must be an evolution before mastering the most basic skills and proceeding with the allocation of responsibilities. And your kids are no exception to this rule.
Regardless of your approach, one thing that you can be sure in both situations is that everyone is watching you very closely right from the start: parents and other players, other employees and your management team. Everyone handles things differently. I always feel that you have to be more demanding on your own kids in order to demonstrate to everyone that success is based on accomplishments and that everyone needs to work for it without exception. It can be a more challenging situation especially for your own kids but the experience must be positive for everyone.
In the end, you have to leave the emotional connection out of the equation and bring your management or coaching philosophy first and foremost. What is the ultimate goal and objective that the team is trying to achieve? What will be best for the business and/or your team? It is my opinion that when facing these types of situations, you simply need to be honest with yourself. This can only happen if you consistently reevaluate all aspects of the team and business, making continued improvements where needed, and addressing situations in a deliberate and direct way.