Cold war

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Don has not been on speak­ing terms with his dad for a month now. They had a spat about their fam­ily busi­ness. But he knows the cause of the tiff is his dad’s dis­like of his choice of girl­friend. Don says he is at a loss on what to do to rec­on­cile with his dad. First, swal­low your pride and go speak with your dad. Make the first move. There is no point in pro­long­ing the si­lence when talk­ing to each other will re­solve the is­sues. Maybe there is no need for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion but only com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Don’t wait. To­mor­row might be too late. DJ:

A fam­ily busi­ness has cer­tain pe­cu­liar­i­ties that make it fer­tile ground for in­tense emo­tions, given all the ways in which their lives, busi­ness goals, in­ter­ests and ide­olo­gies in­ter­sect. In that con­text, Don’s sit­u­a­tion is not un­usual. He should not be too hard on him­self. But con­flicts like what he and his dad are go­ing through can fester and grow when ig­nored over an ex­tended pe­riod of time.


I learned that we should al­ways make fam­ily our pri­or­ity be­cause no one in his deathbed asked for more time to spend at the of­fice or at work, but with fam­ily and loved ones. Don might think that his dad does not fa­vor his girl­friend, but it might be more than that. It might have some­thing to do more with Don’s life de­ci­sions in gen­eral. Be­ing in a fam­ily busi­ness is a chal­leng­ing bal­ance of work­ing to­gether, over­com­ing dif­fer­ences in pref­er­ences and es­sen­tials. It is best to lis­ten to our par­ents be­cause they have wis­dom that comes with ex­pe­ri­ence and age. Par­ents should also lis­ten to their chil­dren be­cause there are many things that the young can teach them.


Don is torn be­tween his de­sire for hap­pi­ness and his love for his dad. There is no easy so­lu­tion for now, but they both can start with com­mu­ni­ca­tion. He can calmly and re­spect­fully ask what it is that he doesn’t like about his girl­friend. And it’s worth click­ing the pause but­ton on his emo­tions and con­sider whether his dad may be right. They both can start by dis­cussing this fam­ily mat­ter be­fore mov­ing on to stuff con­cern­ing the busi­ness. The dif­fer­ence be­tween a cool or a stress­ful fam­ily busi­ness is not the lack of con­flict but in how they man­age con­flict dif­fer­ently. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is of ut­most im­por­tance as all fam­i­lies ex­pe­ri­ence prob­lems with re­la­tion­ships at some point or an­other.


Don should not take it against his fa­ther if they do not see eye to eye on all things. That is nor­mal, ex­pected even. But Don should not for­get that his fa­ther may only have his best in­ter­ests at heart. Re­spect­ing one’s elders is im­por­tant. When Don be­comes a par­ent, he will un­der­stand his fa­ther more and might even think the same way. Girl­friends can come and go. But a fa­ther is for­ever.


Through­out Don’s life, he will come across many dif­fi­cult choices. As a strong man, he can rise above th­ese dilem­mas by not get­ting drawn into point­less dra­mas or bat­tles of will.

If his girl­friend is right for him, lead­ing with emo­tional in­tel­li­gence will make him even the leader she can look up to and fall even deeply in love with.


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