…If there’s even a bare possibility that you’re prejudiced, the smell of it will scare off or turn off the very people you need most. The stockholders will never know how many good people they missed who never applied for a job”
ROBERT TOWNSEND “Up the Organization” (1970)
If your business is bedecked with your cousins and uncles and nephews at all levels, what message does that send to your other employees? That this place has its “wenyewe.” That only the members of the family are on the true inside track, all others skid on the periphery.
In Kenya the family business still prevails, and I’m often stunned by how few founders realize its limitations. There is no doubt that being a close-knit family endows great advantages in the early stages of a business. You get unity of purpose, bonding, and might even save on salary costs as you get your firm established. But once you are past that stage, you need to look beyond the bloodline.
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