What if you treated your kids with the same respect as you would your biggest business client or investor?
Jim Sheils is a real estate investor and the author of The Family Board Meeting: Is Business Success Hurting Your Family? He is also the founder of Board Meetings International, which offers retreats and online tools to help busy professionals and entrepreneurs forge lasting bonds with their kids.
The tradition started when he and his co-founder, Brian Scrone, got together to surf with friends and joked it was a “board” meeting. Soon it became clear that these trips were about more than just surfing. The camaraderie and support of their surf tribe soon became their deepest source of strength and wisdom. Soon, many of them began to bring their kids along.
As Jim traveled the world for entrepreneurial events, he noticed that many professionals were having a difficult time being successful while maintaining a connection with their families. Even before he became a father, Jim decided to help business owners and professionals make groundbreaking improvements in their relationships with their kids and developed the system he will share in this episode!
What is a board meeting?
A family board meeting is a pre-scheduled 4-hour minimum chunk of time spent with your child every 90 days.
Why every 90 days?
A 90-day period is enough space for deepening and reflection, and it gives ample time for anticipation to build for the next board meeting.
Rules of the board meeting.
- It must be scheduled like an official meeting that cannot be pushed aside. This ensures you will be consistent and your child knows that they are your highest priority.
- It must be one-on-one. Being alone with your child with magnify your presence. This time spent together goes much further than the chaos of the whole family being together.
- Electronics are forbidden. Electronics help us in many ways, but in this instance, they will hurt us by pulling us out of the moment. It will feel awkward at first, but you must disconnect to reconnect.
- Let your child chose the activity. Allow your kid to design the day. Don’t drag them to something they don’t enjoy.
Jim Sheils recommends ending the day with a focused reflection Ask your kid what he or she liked about the day. Let them talk as much or as little as they want. When you set up time with your child in this format, they remember it clearly, and these special moments become pillars in the relationships.
Jim Sheils’s parting piece of dad wisdom.
Most dads are driven to succeed and provide for their families. We go so fast that we sometimes lose track of the people we love along the way. Is it possible to achieve a balance between family and business?
Jim Sheils always thinks of a simple line Sonny Corleone says in The Godfather. When it comes to choosing between business or family, “I guess business is going to have to suffer.” It doesn’t mean you give up on your business, it just means you put it in its place, and Jim has noticed that he actually performs better and makes better decisions when he keeps focused on what’s most important to him.
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