Do you feel trapped in the family business or do you think you may be contributing to a loved one feeling trapped? If so, this episode is for you. My guest is psychologist Dr. Michael Klein, author of Trapped in the Family Business: A Practical Guide to Uncovering and Managing This Hidden Dilemma. He released a new edition of his book this week.
In this episode, we explore the factors that can lead to someone feeling trapped. Dr. Klein introduces us to the idea of emotional handcuffs—those feelings of guilt, obligation, doubt and even love—that can make a person feel unable to leave something that is not a good fit for them. We discuss the importance of differentiating yourself from your family unit and how this relates to personal fulfillment.
If you like this topic, you might also find value in:
- Episode 020: Women and Wealth with Adrienne Penta
- Episode 021: Taking Over the Family Business with Mitchell Kaneff
- Episode 023: Leadership Development and Agility with Greg McCann
Topics discussed in this episode:
- What led Dr. Klein to write Trapped in the Family Business (3:00)
- What are emotional handcuffs? (4:30)
- When it works well, a family business is a beautiful thing (8:15)
- What does “being trapped” look like? (12:05)
- Three-circle model of family business and differentiation (18:18)
- The importance of having an opportunity to grow up (28:43)
- Who decides if you’re trapped? (32:40)
- Revised book being released (40:40)
- The wrap up and a special offer! (45:27)
Michael Klein has over twenty years of experience consulting with businesses and coaching individuals. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology (PsyD) and is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology (SIOP). Dr. Klein’s work focuses on maximizing professional performance and satisfaction at work, as well as the selection and development of organizational leadership. He works with family and nonfamily businesses and their advisors, and lives in the Massachusetts.
Notable & Quotable:
People go off to college or get a job to define themselves and experiment with different ways of being in the world. When you grow up in family business, you miss out on the opportunity. —Dr. Michael Klein #successfulgenerations
Families unconsciously keep children, siblings, parents, etc. in a family business using emotions. —Dr. Michael Klein #successfulgenerations
Often there is a seed of doubt where a person asks themselves, ‘do I think I can survive outside of this family business?’ —Dr. Michael Klein #successfulgenerations
Family businesses can be especially guilty of failing to consider and give priority to individual fulfillment. —Dr. Michael Klein #successfulgenerations
Being trapped in a family business is not a determination made by a committee. —Dr. Michael Klein #successfulgenerations
You are not a carbon copy of your parents and it’s okay to think of the ways you are different and carve out more space for yourself and who you are. —Dr. Michael Klein #successfulgenerations
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- MK Insights
- Trapped in the Family Business
- NEW EDITION: Trapped in the Family Business (released June 12, 2018)
- The Post
- John Davis’ Three-Circle Model of the Family Business System
- When Your Parents Sign the Paychecks by Greg McCann
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- DiSC Profile
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If you are the next generation of family business, philanthropy and wealth, and have a topic you think we should discuss, let us know at Ellie@successfulgenerations.com.