In a previous Advocate article we talked about the crucial need for balance between the personal and the professional life when you work with your partner. Time for yourself, time away from the business, and equitable division of responsibilities between partners being keys to success. But what about the balance of power and decision-making in the office when two life partners also run a business? Who’s the boss? Who thinks he is in charge, who really is in charge, and who do the employees think is in charge? Interesting questions and challenges.
At home, we are almost 100% balanced in terms of who does what and how we do it. We often have lengthy discussions about what to do and how to do it, and we give and take on the final decision making. After almost 23 years together, we pretty much have this nailed, and we are in sync most of the time. Seldom do we disagree (strongly) on household or personal matters.
In the office, however, it can be a different story.
You know the old saying—“too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the soufflé.” Well, too many bosses in the office can bruise the business. We both have healthy egos and assertive personalities. We both bring different skills, experiences, and decision-making processes to the business which sometimes leads to us coming to different conclusions.
So who is the ultimate “decider” at our company? That’s an interesting question, and the answer is—it depends.