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Teamwork, The Key to Long-Term Success

THE GLOBE AND MAIL MANAGING Thursday, June 3, 1999, B13

Teams are often a foreign concept in family businesses. After all, founders usually do whatever they please and the next generation learns at their feet.

Basically, the question of leadership differentiates business family teams from generic ones. Who will be the leader and can the others truly be followers?

In some situations feelings that go back to early childhood can make team play virtually impossible. Collaboration carries implications of consorting with the enemy. In these situations, it's difficult to learn new habits.

But in families that work well together, collaboration may almost seem to be psychic. In cases where the family has had to learn to work as a team, it's always necessary to first put aside rivalries and labels.

Team play doesn't require everyone to like each other, only that they get their job done reliably, while respecting the contribution and dignity of others.

Successful family teams share certain common characteristics:

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