Embracing Harmony in this Holiday Season

By Prof. Enrique Soriano

Dear Esteemed Family Business Owners,

As the year gracefully concludes, I take a moment to reflect on the myriad experiences and flights that have characterized my journey in Family Business Governance. After almost 100 flights, I am now officially signing off for a well-deserved period of rest and recreation with my family in Canada.

Stepping into the holiday season, marked by the whirlwind of gift-giving, marketing extravaganzas, and a multitude of celebrations, I am reminded that while this time is meant to evoke feelings of love and cheer, it often becomes a source of stress for many, especially given the challenges posed by a faltering economy.

Balancing family and business has never been more demanding, with family members investing longer hours and making a final push in the last month of the year to bolster sales. I can only imagine the pressure you’ve faced in the past four weeks, strategizing to meet production demands amid Christmas leaves and the anticipation of 13th-month pay and annual bonuses.

In the pursuit of success, the challenges of competition can sometimes tip the scales, creating an imbalance between family and business. As we navigate these demanding times, it is essential to identify and address the factors contributing to holiday stress while working towards restoring equilibrium.

Identifying Stressors:

One significant stressor during the holiday season is the inclination to take on too much simultaneously. While stress is a natural part of life, excess stress can have detrimental effects on our mental and physical well-being. Striking a balance between enjoyable activities and self-care is crucial to avoid feeling exhausted rather than fulfilled.

Another stressor is the struggle to maintain equilibrium between work and family, particularly for those whose personal and professional lives are intertwined. The repercussions of this imbalance can extend beyond the holiday season, affecting both the family and the business.

Strategies for Restoring Balance:

  1. Set Communication Ground Rules: Establishing ground rules for family discussions during the holiday season is pivotal. Ensure that business talk is excluded from family time. Consider implementing a lighthearted program that rewards those who refrain from discussing work and introduces a friendly penalty for those who do. This can infuse a sense of playfulness into family gatherings.
  2. Share Quantifiable Goals: Encourage each family member to pinpoint one quantifiable goal that the rest of the family can support in the coming year. This not only fosters collaboration but reinforces the idea that family members can contribute to each other’s success.

Embracing the Spirit of the Season:

In the insightful words of a dear friend Richard Eu, the great-grandson of the Founder of the Eu Yan Sang Group, Asia’s largest Traditional Chinese Medicine Retailer, “Good governance in a family business starts by putting the company and the family first – each in its own time.”

As the holiday season approaches, I implore you to set aside the demands of the business and bask in the joy of family time. Utilize this opportunity to revitalize relationships, mend any frayed ties, and enhance the value of precious moments spent together.

From my family to yours, I extend sincere wishes for a joyous Christmas and a prosperous New Year in 2024. May this festive season bring you the peace and harmony that your hard work and dedication truly deserve.

Warm regards,

Prof Enrique Soriano

Want to learn more?

Due to a personal emergency that required to fly out of the country, the anticipated webinar event on navigating the complexities of family, business, and the family business has been moved to February 3, 2024, a Saturday! In this W+B’s upcoming webinar, we’ll feature Cebu Landmasters Director, Senior EVP, and COO Jose Franco Soberano, along with family legacy coach and advisor Steve Legler from TSI Heritage in Canada and myself. Secure your spot now and explore strategies to align core values with growth objectives in family businesses. Reserve your seat today through Pat at rplatorre@wbadvisoryasia.com.