Habit 3 of a Family that Wins: Character

The Sum Total of All Your Everyday Choices

Who are you when no one is looking? Habit 3 of a family that wins was taught to me by my grandparents and parents who believed it to be the foundation of everything. What is it? Character.

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I grew up believing character to be who you are when no one is looking. I’ve shared that definition with my children as we’ve worked to make it the bedrock of our family culture.

It is also the real foundation of all worthwhile success and the sum total of all the choices we make in life.

The 7 Habits of a Family that Wins

The Secret Glue that Binds the Best Families Together

Over the last several weeks, the community here at MarkTimm.com has grown significantly as I’ve connected with so many of you who want to be better leaders at home. It has been a privilege to connect with so many parents—and future parents—who long for clarity and confidence at home just like me.

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One of the most valuable things to me about connecting with all of you is hearing the challenges you’re presently facing as a family.

So many of you have told me you struggle with organization, time management, and finding a proven structure to help you execute the dream of how your family could be. Many of you are leaders outside your home who feel dazed and confused when it comes to leading at home.

What Is the Most Valuable Business You Will Ever Own?

The Best Tool I’ve Found for Building Your Family Legacy

What is your greatest business success? If you’re a business leader or entrepreneur like me, your mind immediately turns to some resume-building accomplishment. But what if we’re missing something? What if the most valuable business you will ever own is your own family?

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We entrepreneurs tend to focus on what is in front of us – our business. But when we do, we tend to neglect our families because, although we believe them to be important, investing in them doesn’t always seem to be urgent.

So we tend to let them slide, hoping our spouses will pick up the slack so we don’t have to try to figure it all out.

We hope our businesses will grow and make a difference in the world, lasting long after we gone. But if we’re not careful, we’ll miss the obvious truth: Our families are the one thing guaranteed to have an impact for generations to come.

The One Thing Fathers Can’t Delegate

3 Reasons Dads Need to Lead at Home

Over the last several years since I re-engaged as CEO of my family, I’ve shared about our family’s success with many dads who are business owners and leaders. Unfortunately, what I often hear are sad tales of fathers who’ve given up or checked out. “I let my wife take care of family stuff,” is a line I hear often.

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I get it. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to feel helpless and frustrated about the chaos at home. But one thing I have learned the hard way, dads: some things can’t be delegated.

Do You Let Technology Control Your Family Time?

Try This Simple Tactic to Take Control of Technology

Technology. Thanks to smartphones and Wi-Fi, it’s everywhere these days. Sometimes I wonder how in the world our family ever lived without it. And other times I really wish we could find out.

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As an entrepreneur, I often feel the need to be plugged in 24/7. My staff members and sales reps all have my phone number and know the door is always open to talk. I check my email often to make sure everything is going well.

But I recently got a wake-up call from one of my kids. She called me out one day and said: “You know, Dad, when you put me to bed you used to really talk to me, but now I catch you checking your text messages or checking your email. That tells me you’re not really here.”

Ouch.

I realized right then that I had been letting technology take control of what should have been family time.

As I thought about it, I realized I was doing the same thing with my wife when I came home every day. Instead of being all-in and fully present when I walked in the door, I’d be checking technology all night long.

It caused me to realize that family time isn’t family time if we’re not fully present for it.

How to Take Back Your Family Time

I decided to make a change. I led by example. I put my technology on the table.

Now when I walk into the house after a day of work, I put my smartphone on the table.

I know where it is if I need it. I can hear it if it rings. But I’m not tempted to check it every two minutes.

Just by doing what seems a simple thing, I am free to connect with my kids and my wife without being tempted to check emails, social media, or voicemail one more time.

I’ve even coined the phrase in our family, “Put your technology, on the table.” When we all go out to dinner as a family, it’s the first thing we say. Every member of the family then puts their technology in the middle of the table.

Our kids get out their phones and we stack them up in a pyramid on the table. All of our technology stays on the table until the dinner is done.

By putting our technology on the table, we all get a break from the constant tug of technology. It sends a clear signal that we are choosing to focus our attention on one another.

It’s also allowed us to talk more about how we can intentionally use technology to build the brand equity of our family business. By not posting to Instagram or checking email for a few minutes, we can get the greatest return on our investment of time together as a family.

Now whenever we gather as a family, whether for dinner, family meeting, or any family time, we put technology on the table — and it changes the dynamics of the gathering. Our kids will even call for everyone to put technology on the table if they want to get our attention.

The fact is that technology is important; we couldn’t run our businesses without it. And it can make family life simpler in many ways.

But if you really want to build your family’s brand equity, put your technology on the table — and encourage the rest of your family to join you.

Question:What do you think of our solution for putting technology in its place? What other strategies have you discovered for protecting family time from technology? You can share your thoughts by clicking here.

Why Business Leaders Can Be Great Parents

7 Ways Your Family Is Like a Business

There’s nothing like the feeling of leaving the office after a successful day. Unfortunately for many business leaders, that sense of satisfaction ends when they arrive at home and feel as if their families are spiraling out of control. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

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If you are a business leader struggling to be a better parent, there is good news for you. You are closer than you realize to the clarity and confidence you need to build a family that you are proud of every day. You already have the skills and knowledge to make it happen; you just need to know how to apply them at home.

The Secret to Winning at Home Like You Win at Work

Is It Time to Take Control of Your Parenting Strategy?

When a business is making money, few people care about whether everyone shares a common vision. But a company cannot make profit for long unless the executive team gets on the same page. There’s one thing you need for a business to thrive in the long-term—unified leadership.

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When leaders don’t see eye-to-eye, a business flounders. Goals become less clear. Purpose gets fuzzy. Clear expectations go out the window. Chaos ensues as everyone advances his or her own agenda.

The same is true for a family. If you have chaos at home, the chances are good that you are not on the same page with your spouse. In business, we can cover up our divided leadership for a while behind carefully worded memos and press releases, but children have a way of identifying and taking advantage of the slightest division between parents.

Who Else Wants to Be a Confident Parent?

Get So Clear on Your Purpose You Could Put It on a T-Shirt

Quick! What’s your business motto, slogan, or tagline? I’ll bet you know it pretty well don’t you? Now what is your family’s motto, slogan, or tagline?

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If your mind went blank when you read that question, you are not alone. Most families don’t have one.

Yet what is one of the first things a successful business leader like you would do if you were launching a new enterprise? After naming it, you’d develop a tagline to communicate your central purpose.

Your family already has a name. But there’s good chance it lacks a motto.