How to Hire and Fire Your Relatives This Holiday Season

Family business owner: The only initials that entitle your relatives to seats in your company are G-W-C.

Invite them to your Thanksgiving table if you love them. (Or even if you don’t. It’s Thanksgiving!) But don’t keep them in a seat at your business unless they:

  • Get it: Their brain cells obviously activate when you describe the role.
  • Want it: They want to do the job for you. You can’t motivate, cajole, overpay, or—gag!—”incentivize” an employee. They have to want it, or not.
  • Have the Capacity to do it: They have the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual capacity to perform their five Accountability Chart roles. Therefore, they consistently do the job well in 100 percent of their time—it doesn’t take the constant “I’m giving 120 percent!” overwork that’s going to make them slump unconscious at the Thanksgiving table before the tryptophan in the turkey can even take hold.

GWC is the objective standard that cuts through the family politics and the uncomfortable Thanksgiving table silences to what really matters for you, the employees related to you, and (especially!) your employees who aren’t family: Running a profitable business.

Want to look across the table at family members with gratitude, instead of resenting them for not pulling their weight? Here’s your Thanksgiving recipe:

  1. Thinking structure first, people second, draw the simplest and best Accountability Chart to get your company where you want to be six to 12 months from now. Your management team, for instance, will have three to seven seats, each with five key Roles for which that seat alone’s accountable.
  2. Make sure potential seat-fillers live your Core Values first. (Blood’s no guarantee of that!)
  3. Then, determine whether the seat-filler GWCs her or his five Roles. If the answer’s no, that’s not the right seat for her or him, family or not.

What do you want: The temporary pain of a frank discussion with a family member? Most people, relatives included, rise to the occasion when you call them to a higher standard of accountability and performance.

Or, do you want the permanent pains of festering resentment and an underperforming business?

The choice is yours.


GWC is part of the Entrepreneurial Operating System: A complete, proven system with simple tools that help you get three things we call vision, traction, and healthy.

  • Vision: Get leaders 100% on the same page with where you’re going and how to get there.
  • Traction: Work with leaders on discipline and accountability, to execute the vision.
  • Healthy: Build a healthy and cohesive Leadership Team.

From there, as goes your leadership team, so goes the rest of your company. Your entire company gets crystal-clear on your vision; much more disciplined and accountable in executing your vision; gains consistent traction; and moves forward shoulder to shoulder together as a healthy, functional, cohesive team.

Text or call me at (402) 202-2820 if any of this resonates with you. I’d love to show you and your leadership team how to get vision, traction, and healthy right away.