“They are like an old married couple with their kids”. Ringo Starr on John and Paul’s post Beatles relationship

“Stop calling your employees family” shouted a really angry Exec Coach/Leadership guru and all round great guy on the pages of LinkedIn recently. 

Families don’t get rid of you when times are tough. Families don’t turn their back on you when you under perform. Families don’t exist to make money to line the shareholders pockets. Err……..some do! Just cos this fella is from, and perpetuates in his own home, a “Waltons” style existence where every episode (day) ends with everyone loving and caring for each other doesn’t mean we all do. 

We all know people who have been ignored, rejected, spurned or disliked by their family. We know people who feel/felt abandoned by money hungry parents, punted off to boarding school and summer camp so the careers are given maximum time to capitalise. And the real Royle family depicted how comically awful individual family members can be to one another and I know I laughed because it echoed with certain aspects of my own childhood. 

There are good and bad families who operate in their own functionally dysfunctional way. Many of the more interesting people I know have their deepest battle scars from the challenges the family have thrown at them. And many use these experiences in a positive and effective way in their lives and work now. What made John and Paul so good was not only what they agreed on but often what they disagreed on and disliked about each other in The Beatles family business. 

So don’t worry about companies calling their crew a family. Not everyone immediately thinks that means shouting a Waltons “night Jim-Bob”  more like a Jim Royal “family my arse”. 

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