How to Run a Successful Business with Family and how Zaf Baker does it
Keep family and business separate. We’ve all heard this sort of advice about how it is deadly and dangerous to involve family and friends in our business as it is bound to lead to collisions, fights, and in some cases, permanent destruction of both the relationships in the business. However, we have seen many instances in which family and friends are able to do business together and still drive.
A good example of this is Zaf and Adam Baker, brothers who run both a property business and a car dealership. The two have been in business for years and have seen mammoth success and are able to balance being both siblings as well as business partners, proving it can be done. Obviously, the situation between the Baker Brothers is not always the norm as there are instances of people who have had relationships destroyed by bringing in family and friends into business. If you are considering this route, it can be done.
First, it is important to look into the relationship itself. A quick peek at Baker’s social media will show that he and his brother are very close and according to recent interviews, they have been very close from a young age. If your relationship between you and your family member or friend is already tumultuous, it will only be heightened due to the pressures of running a business together. If you are thinking of starting a business with someone, make sure it’s someone you already have a good relationship with.
When you do find this person you have a good relationship with and want to go to business with, make sure it is a slow transition in the beginning. The Baker brothers did not start their empire off the bat. Instead, they began their career with a wholesale car dealership and then transitioned it by expanding the business into real estate. Starting with a single project or business venture will give you and your family member the chance to get to know each other as business people as opposed to siblings or otherwise. This means that many of the clashes and teething problems and other issues will be sorted out in the beginning as opposed to popping up later and causing bigger issues.
When you begin working with a family member, make sure that all the rules and roles are defined. For example, Zaf Baker is known as the more outgoing of the two brothers and has a very prolific social media presence which also promotes their business. When you are starting your business venture with a family member, decide ahead of time who is going to do what and make sure that each person is allowed to do their work without consent interference. Especially if there is an age difference or seniority, it is easy for one party to feel slighted. Instead, if each person is given a defined role and not constantly hovered over, the business will likely thrive.
Furthermore, business and pleasure time should also be clearly defined. In the confines of your business, it should be very clear that you are partners first and foremost and ensure that each partner works professionally as though they were working for or with a stranger. Outside the office, however, try your best to keep the personal relationship alive by engaging in the activities you have done prior. One of the issues that many people often have when working with a family member or friend is that they either lose their business partner by trying to maintain the relationship or lose their friend by trying to keep things professional in the workplace.
The key is to find a balance between the two for all involved. A quick look at Baker’s Instagram to grow will show you that the two brothers play as much as they work. His Instagram has shots of them traveling around the world, meeting some of the biggest celebrities in the world, engaging in many hobbies and partying. They also often seen with other members of the family traveling which shows that their relationship has not been harmed by the business partnership.
Finally, it is important to acknowledge when this sort of relationship is not feasible. It must be acknowledged that not every relationship can work in a professional setting and this is perfectly fine. There is no benefit in trying to force it if the flexibility does not exist. If it does exist, however, make sure to apply all the above rules to ensure the best possible results not just for the business but also for the relationship that is in question.
The Ultimate Guide to the Essential Social Skills in Business
Effective communication and strong relationships are essential for success in the workplace. One factor that can greatly influence these qualities is emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EQ. EQ refers to the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Research has shown that individuals with high levels of EQ are better equipped to handle stress, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with others (Chamorro-Premuzic & Sanger, 2016).
Research has consistently shown that emotional intelligence (EQ) is an important predictor of job performance and success in the workplace. EQ is comprised of a set of skills that allow individuals to recognize, understand, and regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In addition, individuals with high EQ are better able to communicate effectively, build relationships, and navigate complex social situations. As a result, they are often viewed as effective leaders and collaborators, and are more likely to achieve their personal and professional goals.
In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated the significant impact that EQ has on job performance and success. For example, one study of 85 upper-level managers found that those with higher EQ scores were rated as more effective leaders by their subordinates (Law, Wong, & Song, 2004). Another study of 151 employees found that those with higher EQ were more likely to be promoted within their organization over a five-year period (Carmeli, Brueller, & Dutton, 2009). These findings highlight the importance of EQ in the workplace and suggest that developing these skills can lead to significant benefits for both individuals and organizations.
According to a study conducted by TalentSmart, a leading provider of EQ assessments, EQ is responsible for 58% of success in all job types (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). In contrast, IQ only accounts for about 4% of success in the workplace. This suggests that EQ is a crucial skill set for individuals in any professional field. Fortunately, EQ is a skill that can be developed and honed over time with practice and awareness.
There are several key components of EQ that are particularly important for success in the workplace. These include:
Self-Regulation: This refers to your capacity to recognize and control your emotions. Sometimes treating them when they arise may be necessary. Understanding how to manage your anger is essential. However, it can also cover how to control the feelings you’ll experience.
Self-Awareness: This implies recognizing and understanding your own feelings. Do noisy places make you nervous? Do other people talking over you make you angry? Knowing these truths about yourself shows that you are working on your self-awareness. Being conscious of yourself is necessary for this phase, which can be more complex than it sounds.
Socialization: This category focuses on your capacity to manage social interactions and direct relationships. It doesn’t entail dominating others but knowing how to work with others to achieve your goals. This could entail presenting your ideas to coworkers, leading a team, or resolving a personal disagreement.
Motivation: Strong motivators include external forces like money, status, or suffering. Internal motivation, however, plays a significant role in Goleman’s concept. By doing so, you demonstrate your ability to control your cause and initiate or continue initiatives of your own volition rather than in response to external demands.
Empathy: It’s equally critical to be sensitive to others’ feelings. This may entail learning to identify different emotional states in individuals — for example, can you tell the difference between someone at ease and someone anxious? — but it also requires comprehension of how other people may react to their current situation. Empathy is one of the essential traits in business and business leadership.
A thought leader in this space, Michael Ventura has built a career advising organizations on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. In his book, Applied Empathy, Ventura highlights the value of empathy in business and provides strategies for developing and applying this skill set. With two decades of experience as a leader, facilitator, and educator, Ventura’s work has made impact in with prestigious institutions such as Princeton University and the United Nations as well as corporate clients such as Google and Nike.
Through his work, Ventura advises leaders to focus on the development of EQ in order to help individuals improve their communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, ultimately leading to greater success in the workplace. Experts like Ventura continue to support the growing body of research on the value of EQ in business, and the evidence that organizations who invest in the EQ of their teams help to create a more empathetic and successful professional environment.
And it’s worth noting that EQ isn’t just important for individual success in the workplace, but also for overall organizational success. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership found that EQ was a better predictor of success than IQ or technical skills in the workplace, and that teams with higher levels of EQ tend to be more effective and productive (Boyatzis, Goleman, & Rhee, 1999). By cultivating a culture of empathy and emotional intelligence, organizations can improve their overall performance and create a more positive work environment for their employees.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of success in the workplace, and individuals and organizations alike should prioritize the development of these skills. The ones that do not only develop a leading edge in their category, but also become a meaningful place to work for their teams. And in today’s rapidly changing talent landscape, the retention of highly capable, emotionally intelligent leaders is one of the greatest keys to unlocking success.
Boyatzis, R. E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. S. (1999). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 343-362). Jossey-Bass.
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart.
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Sanger, M. N. (2016). Does employee happiness matter? Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 3(2), 168-191.
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