Family Business

Learning to Be a Family Player


2 min




Listen to Veronica Maldonado use a story of painting her family office as an example of why inclusiveness is essential in family business.



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So one day I decided to paint the family office. And of course, in a non-family business, if you need to paint the family office, you just paint the office, you don’t have to be consulting all the users of the office, if they agree with whatever color you chose. So I proceeded and I painted the family office. And then we had a family council meeting. First cousin comes in – hmmm, this is not the same color we had before. Who chose this color? Second cousin comes in, why where the colors of the office changed? Third cousin comes in – did the colors of the office, did you change the colors of the office? And I was like, are you kidding me? And they were like, Veronica, this is our family office, this is the image we give off, this is where we come, this is what ... View More represents us. This is like, and on and on and on, and I was like, oh god, this is family business. Where the owners of the family business are going to go into your family office and say, this is what represent us, we want to be a part of something as simple as changing the colors of the office. And so I learned, I learned a couple of things. I learned, one that you have to be inclusive even in the smallest things. Because people really put their heart in it, it’s not just like an office, it’s a family office. I learned that I couldn’t unilaterally take action. I learned that my very schematic, Japanese system of putting everything through systems, wasn’t necessarily going to work with a Venezuelan family. And so I remember thinking that I was so happy that that happened to me at the beginning of my experience, because then I realized, I’m going to have to treat all my decisions, you know, I’m going to have to treat all decisions with the family as I treat this, hey guys, what do you think of this, what do you think of that, so that was huge for me, and I’ve been applying it ever since.