ADHD and Family Business

ID-100215710When one or more members of the family have ADHD and they also run a family business, life can get extremely complicated. I suggest that, as much as possible, the role of parent-child be overlooked. Professionally, family members must assume the roles of employer-employee.

In addition, providing structure and job descriptions with concrete and specific duties are helpful in minimizing misunderstandings. Arguments between family members should be avoided in the workplace as much as possible. If disagreements do arise, however, make sure to discuss them in a private location away from other employees.

I suggest that, when issues do arise among the family members, somebody who is trusted by the owners is asked to act as a buffer between them to help them resolve the issue. Remember that you are acting as a role model for your employees!

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About the Author

Roya Kravetz is a Professional Credentialed Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF), a Board-Certified Coach (BCC) with the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE), a Certified Mentor Coach (CMC) with Mentor Coach LLC, and Certified Parent Educator (CPE) with the International Network for Children and Families (INCAF). While there are many life coaches out there, very few are accredited and board certified through the ICF and CCE. Roya specializes in educating and coaching individuals and families with ADHD and Executive Function challenges. She also has experience working with adoptive families who have children with ADHD. Roya has combined her professional skills with her broad cultural background to build a highly specialized national and international coaching practice based in Carmel Valley (San Diego), California. She is multi-lingual and coaches in English and Spanish.

2 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Joe Exum Sr. says:

    My son and I run a small business. He was diagnosed ADHD when he was in college. We have worked together for 17 years and have rarely agreed on any topic. He is 43 years old. I am 73 years old and probably ADHD as well.

    Recently we exchanged heated emails and there is obvious animosity on both sides. I get the distinct impression he thinks I should move on, retire. When I point our why I think I am valuable to the business, it sounds egotistical and the animosity manifests itself on both sides.

    The recent disagreement was over an advertising agency he has become enamored over the past three years. I am not enamored with the agency and guess they may have suggested my retirement was overdue. Sending a $30K invoice without hourly billing was the straw that brought this disagreement to boiling point. He says I am paranoid and the emails have become personal.

    Sense I have done marketing/agency work as part of my responsibilities, perhaps my ego has been hurt. A request to have us billed on an hourly basis went unanswered, perhaps because we recently suspended relations.

    This family business is 70 years old. I am in the process of purchasing my nephew’s equity. Having worked for my father, with my brother, with my nephew, and now my son, I can attest I am not easy to work with but I have also enjoyed some success over the past 8 years.

    I read an article about ADHD and family businesses years ago. Is ADHD an issue here?

    • Roya Kravetz says:

      Hi Joe,

      Thank you for the comment and for sharing your story!
      It seems like a very complex situation. Family businesses are always complicated especially when we are talking about generational differences. However, I believe that ADHD could be one of the main factors playing into this problematic relationship.
      There is much more that I can share with you in a more private forum.
      Please e-mail me if you are interested in talking more about this issue.

      Warm regards,


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