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Family Business Persuasion Career Planning Quitting Time

I work in a family business, and, along with several family members, I am in a managerial position. We recently had a discussion about aligning an important part of our business with a company that I do not like. Several people in our industry have told me about negative experiences with that company, and I mentioned this in our last meeting. As usual, my comments were ignored, and, as the youngest family member in the business, I was treated as "the baby." What steps should I take?

Whatever steps you take, they should not be "baby steps." The larger issue in this situation is that your comments are frequently being ignored, in spite of the fact that you are in management. In essence, it is time for your associates to grow up, and for them to recognize that you have already done so.

If you are absolutely convinced that you are about to enter a business relationship that is doomed to create problems, this is the time for you to take some adult steps. Tell the family member who runs the business that you have not pushed to have your way in the past, but you cannot ignore the present critical situation.

Give this person the facts behind your concerns about the prospective partner, and present some alternative companies that have been proven to be superior. If you are sent to your room or to your office, you should approach other members of management with the same strategy. At the very least, this decision needs more discussion. If management continues to believe that you should be seen and not heard, it may be best for your career for you to be seen and heard elsewhere.

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