Choosing a great summer vacation can be challenging, particularly if you have a spouse who has hobbies and interests different from you or if you have children. In fact, it is even more difficult choosing a great summer vacation the more children you have and the greater the difference in ages.When thinking about a great family summer vacation, trying to meld all of the age groups and personalities can be difficult. There are a large number of great family summer vacation activities that are only suitable for children of a certain age. You are advised to keep these activities in mind when deciding on a destination. Be careful of picking a low-cost vacation destination with little to do or one that is certain to supply you and your spouse with enjoyment, but offers nothing for your children. you simply must keep the loved ones and the fact that you are spending time as a family your primary goal. That can be done simply by focusing on your family summer vacation destination to the ages of your children and the interests of you and your spouse.Organizing a great family summer vacation around your kids may seem difficult, however here are ways that can help make your family summer vacation awesome.First, decide what type of family summer vacation do you and your family want. Would you like an adventure vacation or perhaps a fun time play vacation? Maybe you want to take a road trip or perhaps do nothing but relax. Once you and your family decide what type of vacation they want to take, you are able to start searching for the great family summer vacation.Once you have decided which type of great family summer vacation you want to take, you could start selecting a destination. When selecting a destination it is also important to keep in mind the destination’s ability to accommodate children. For instance, if you are interested in taking a beach vacation, many families elect to stay away from the South Beach area of Miami because it is known for its nightlife which many families find unsuitable for their needs. Having a travel agent can help here. A travel agent can help you find what you are looking for especially if you are unfamiliar with the area of the destination that you are looking into.If you are looking for a “Fun Time” vacation destination that specifically targets families, you might wish to examine vacationing at an amusement park. Amusement parks are well-known for being “family friendly”. Almost all amusement parks offer a wide range of rides and attractions intended for individuals of all ages. In addition to targeting adults and teenagers, many amusement parks offer rides and attractions for infants and toddlers. There is usually something for everyone. A few amusement parks have actually become resorts and offer more than just the park itself. Dinning, shopping and entertainment are a common part of the resort experience. Of course there would be all sorts of hotels to choose from too.Many families decide to take an outdoor adventure choosing a federal campground or state park for their great family summer vacation destination. Camping is often a popular outdoor activity and enjoyed by everyone. Children of all ages enjoy camping near a lake, pond, stream, or even in the woods. Many campgrounds offer activities for their guest which include fishing, boating, and outdoor sports. There are several ways to enjoy camping too. The most popular choice for people is a tent. However, campers, trailer and travel trailers are be coming increasingly more affordable. Motor homes are often another choice for campers. Motor homes are great for people who like to travel and camp often or for people who like the comforts of home. Of course one of the best ways to pamper yourself and have the camping experience is by renting a cabin. This can not only be super fun for the whole family but it could also be very affordable!Road trip vacations can also be a blast! When you are taking a road trip vacation you have the opportunity to see and do a lot of different things. Stay a day here then stay a day there gives you the opportunity to visit an amusement park and a campground all in one great family summer vacation. Road trip vacations are particularly fun when they are taken in a motor home. With your hotel on wheels, you just pull into your destination and relax.Totally relaxing vacations are sometimes the best. With these vacations you are not spending time hiking around the forest, standing in lines for a ride or sitting in a car going from place to place. Relaxing vacations give you the opportunity to spend time with your kids, talking, playing and getting to know them. It is a vacation where you rest your mind body and soul. Relaxing vacations are usually spent in a hotel. Spending time by the pool, room service and perhaps a massage make a relaxing vacation unforgettable. A travel agent can help you decide where the most relaxing destinations are. Relaxing vacations are available in a wide variety and price ranges.With a small amount of research, it is possible to plan the great family summer vacation of your dreams. There are a large number of popular great family summer vacation destinations that target families as a whole. Booking a vacation at one of these popular destinations is the best way to ensure that everyone will be able to enjoy their summer.
Who is Piloting Your Plane?Consider this question for a moment: If you were on an airplane, would you rather it was flown by a very competent pilot, or a member of the pilot’s family? In this scenario, who really cares about family affiliations? By answering this question, you are beginning to grapple with the issue that we are pointing to in this analysis. Of course, you’d want the pilot to be competent and family affiliation be damned.The title of this article is a hook describing those people who are lucky enough to be in your family. Some of those lucky people may be working with you, too. The message here is specifically for those with companies owned by families or companies who have family members as employees. The term “Lucky Sperm & Egg” is a way to refer to people who share a similar genetic pool and are related. The “Club” refers to family members who also work at the same company. If you have family members in your company, you need to proceed with caution and know that there are clear pitfalls.What Do Owners & CEOs Want?As a business owner, what I want is for my company to be run in the best possible way so that it makes money, customers love doing business with us, employees love working with us and the community is thrilled that we are around. As an owner and founder, the next question is: Who can best provide the these things for your organization?Could the best candidate be a member of The Lucky Sperm & Egg Club? (I do like the sound of that!) After all, these employees may have grown up in the business and may have been schooled by the founder. They may be steeped in specialized knowledge that’s important in your industry, fit into the culture of the company’s working environment and understand the winning formula of your company. They could really know and love the business and its customers. It is possible that a family member really is the best candidate.The Head of the PackI have seen family members lead businesses successfully a number of times in the commercial laundry business. Take the case of Ralph and Sam (the names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent). Both of these guys are second generation and highly successful in running and growing their companies. They grew up working for the companies they eventual led. They know the company’s business from the ground up because they drove a truck, brought in the clean uniforms and took out the dirty ones. They know operations because they filled washers and hung pants. They know customer service because for years they answered the phones. They have been yelled at, cussed at and also complimented.Ralph and Sam are capable business people with experience that they gained elsewhere and brought with them to their family firms. Their ability to lead and develop their companies is obvious. If they were not CEOs of their family businesses, I am sure they would be CEOs of someone else’s company.Ralph and Sam have the right genetics and both are sons of the founders: thus they are authentic members of The Lucky Sperm & Egg Club. They are also bright and talented. Because they are connected by blood, they are trustworthy. This is all true. I have found it to be this way innumerable times in my consulting practice.Not All Eggs Make a Good OmeletThere also could be a dark side to having a Lucky Sperm & Egg Club member running the company. For example, family members could be in the company because they could not think of anywhere else to go. They could be in the company because it pays them better than anywhere else. One of the reasons that they got the good pay was because they needed it and they had the right last name. Perhaps their CEO parent felt guilty and wanted to help out. After all, that’s what parent’s do-help out, right?Recently, at a dinner, I had a CEO tell me how her children were her web developers. I have seen cases where this kind of relationship really does work. However, not in this case. The CEO told me that she was paying above market prices for their services in order to help them out. She was not particularly pleased with the site they were designing, nor the service they were providing. But the CEO was helping out her kids because they needed her to do that.SUDDENLY, A BOLT OF LIGHTING RIPPED THROUGH THE ROOM AND WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARED THERE I STOOD IN MY RED AND GOLD SPANDEX. “BLOOD SUCKER” WAS EMBAZONED IN NEON ON MY STUDLY CHEST. I WAS ON TOP OF THE TABLE LOOKING DOWN AND I SPOKE IN A BOOMING VOICE:”YOU, MY BELOVED CEO, ARE IN DANGER OF SCREWING UP BOTH YOUR COMPANY AND YOUR FAMILY.”WE IN THE PROFESSION CALL THAT A TWOFER.”Unfortunately, that only happened in my head. But the CEO is in danger on a number of fronts and I begged her to come to her senses.Pretending in Order to Please YouChildren could be in the company because they feel they owe it to a parent who is the CEO to carry on the family tradition-despite the fact they may have very little talent, passion or ability in the business-and they spend their time attempting to hide this. Their direct reports work with them to keep up the pretense. That is what the direct report’s job is. Here is an example:Robert was an artist. All Robert really wanted to do was paint, be with his young son and sell his artwork. Unfortunately, he found himself inheriting a failing company as co-owner with another family where there was real discord. Robert was the head of Marketing and web design with very little experience or education in Marketing. His staff had both experience and talent and did their best to protect and cover for Robert. You can imagine that there were problems in this scenario, significant problems.My Mother The BossHere is a case of a CEO who is confused about her role. “She should look for another job,” the CEO-also known as “mom”-told me. “If I change them from hourly to salary, I will not get forty hours out of them.” The daughter, Sally, was clocking out at 4:30 pm, going to the bank and going home. This was outrageous behavior according to “mom,” the CEO and Founder. “What do I do with these kids she cried?”The CEO was in pain because she was operating from a “mothering” state and applying it to business. Mothers do not fire their youngest daughters. It can’t be done. It is, however, apparently valid for moms to complain about their daughter’s behavior.It’s interesting; they are both living and working together. Sally is making $40,000 a year and says she is not making enough. “Mom” is trying to find something for the twenty-five-year-old marketing major to do. The CEO admits that if her daughter were just an employee and not a member of The Lucky Sperm & Egg Club, she would let that person go and move on.If this woman puts on the “CEO hat” and looks at the situation from that point of view, a pathway opens up. As CEO of a small company, the decision about who belongs in the company and who gets to play in the sandbox is of primary concern. The right person on the right seat of the bus and so on.If this woman puts on the “mother hat” and looks at the situation as a parent, this is a different kind of game. The little darling, also known as “your baby,” comes out with limitations and gifts. You have the rest of your lifetime to deal with these and deal you must. Connected by birth, blood and genetics, you are family-God help you. There is no choice here other than the existential one of choosing the way it is and loving it.As a brother, I can relate to this story. My brother has brain damage and suffers from a number of psychiatric conditions. Would I fire him? Never. Have I thought about it? Definitely? Could I walk away from him and abandon him? Never. However, for sure he would never work for me. It simply would not work for my business.Choosing Your WorkWhere you work is a choice you make. Sometimes it is not seen as a choice, but still-no matter what-it is a choice. This is not slavery after all. It is employment. It may be complex choice, but where you work is a choice nevertheless.Parents owe their children-whenever possible-food, shelter, love, medical care, education, guidance and coaching to become independent adults. However you do not owe them a job or a jobs program. These are interesting dynamics: Family and Business can be dueling systems. When they compete with each other, prepare for catastrophe. I have seen these destructive dynamics play out numerous times within companies.So what is the point? This is: Have the leadership in your company be based on talent and ability. If it turns out they are members of that special club-family members-who actually qualify, consider it a dividend and karmic reward. However it is critical is that you go with the leaders who have the talent and ability to best lead and grow the company.Why You May Not Be the Best ChoiceA number of times I have told my clients that the best thing that they could do as a business owner is to replace themselves as President. They need to bring in someone else with more leadership, ability and talent that can build and develop their biggest, most important asset: their company. Membership in The Lucky Sperm & Egg Club is not a qualification.Jesus is a case in point. For years he complained of the burden of running the 250 million dollar company that he grew from scratch. He didn’t like having to teach everybody. Finally he made Laura-a talented woman who was not a family member- the President. She proceeded to work with his great leadership group to grow the company in a down year. They made all the financial targets and opened a new plant and are planning to soon open yet another one.Jesus is now semi-retired. He is still Chairman of the Board and works part time. “I exercise and do a lot of fishing, especially during the summer,” he recently told me. “I like the Green River but sometimes I go fishing in Colorado,” he related. I spent several days with him on a trip and I have never seen him so relaxed and available.Rules for RelativesI have often told my client CEOs that they will potentially destroy, and certainly slow the growth and development of their company if they have lower standards or different rules for family members. So, if you have members of The Lucky Sperm & Egg Club in your business, and you truly love and want to support them, do the following:
Have the highest possible standards for family member behavior. Make sure that they know it is their responsibility to exemplify the company values beyond what any other employee does.
Only have them in roles where it is obvious that they have the essential abilities and talent to excel and bring real results to the company.
Coach and work with family members so that if they ever leave the company they will be able to easily command what they make at your company.
Make it clear to family members that because they are Club members, more will be expected from them. For them to be at the company, they will be expected to work harder and longer hours.
Actively encourage them not to work at the company and if they decide to continue to do so, then reinforce that it is a choice that they are making.
If you have any unresolved issues with your siblings, cousins, children, spouse, etc., and you hope to work it out by working together, forget about it. Go see a therapist and leave the business, organization and company completely out of the equation.
These are my views. Now you have deal with these insights in the context of your own family and your own business. I hope it goes well for your business and well for your family. Let me know your thoughts.