What Happens When a Family Team Gets Hold of a Business?

So if you like In-N-Out, like I do…

Yeah, animal style.

Like, you have to have one of those burgers. Yes. Especially, for those of us who don’t live anywhere close to the West Coast or California and we miss it so much, although I think they’ve creeped up in Texas or something. Right? Is that right?

Yup. Yup.

They’re slowly spreading out.

They’re bleeding to the East.

Yes. So one of the things we love to talk about here is, what happens when a family team gets a hold of a business? It’s one of the coolest things. It’s really difficult. It has lots of challenges, but it’s always fascinating. Jeff and I are constantly talking about these different businesses. In-N-Out’s one of them. The current owner, Lynsi Snyder, she’s the heiress of the family business, and she talks about the biblical values that have been a part of In-N-Out from the beginning. And if you guys, I don’t know if you remember the moment where somebody pointed out when you had one of those cups and you’ve lifted it up and saw the little verses on the inside of the cup. I remember when I first saw that when I was in college, and it just started so many conversations. I don’t know how many people have talked about, not just like, oh, that’s interesting that there’s a little verses there, but also just, what does it take to have a business where you’re allowed to print verses, even on the inside?

Yeah, totally.

It’s just fascinating. So she teased that out a little bit and says, “Biblical values have been a staple in In-N-Out ever since Lynsi’s uncle, Richard Snyder, famously began printing John 3:16 below the restaurant’s drink cups. Lynsi has since expanded that practice to include Proverbs 24:16 and Luke 6:35 on the fry containers and hot beverages.” Okay. She says, “It was my Uncle Rich who put the Bible verses on the cups and wrappers in the early 90s, just before he passed away.” She said, “He had just accepted the Lord and wanted to put that little touch of his faith on our brand. It’s a family business and will always be, and that’s a family touch. In later years, I added verses to the fry boat, coffee and hot cocoa cups.”

So it’s super cool. So this guy became a believer right at the end of his life, put this little touch. And like she said, this is the power when a family privately owns a business. There are all kinds of fascinating elements. And we, Jeff and I, like to refer to these as sort of points of integration. Places where you kind of take maybe elements of family culture and throw it in your business a little bit, elements of your faith and throw it in your business in a really appropriate way.

And there’s no one way to do this. There’s no formula. There’s no like, if you’re a family Christian business owner, do these things. In fact, when you see people do that, it gets kind of creepy. What’s really fun is just see really cool, interesting ways that people just feel led by the Holy spirit to create a little integration. It’s a huge passion of mine, I know Jeff’s, to help coach people that own businesses. How are you doing this? Are there cool ways you can create integration? But yeah Jeff, what does that stir for you?

Totally. Well, one thing I’ll say, and then like I said, this is perfect to talk about one of our fun, new, exciting projects. But what I love and what I’m hearing too is, the thing about that’s awesome about family businesses is, is it’s easier for you to hold onto the culture through the generations, right?


The next CEO that takes over 30 years from now, usually has a lot harder time keeping some levels of a vision over a long period of time without just kind of making their own. Which every generation should have their own, but within a line. And a multi-generational family business can do that really well. And what you said too is, I think, interesting is small. It’s easier for also family to do that in family businesses when they’re smaller points of culture. If you’re kind of having a really heavy vision, sometimes the next generation will want a buck out of that. But if you kind of know, oh, this is a fun, little, small way that actually has really big impacts to kind of be us, to be our last name, to be our culture, then everyone keeps it. And it kind of becomes almost something that has extra meaning and baggage attached to it in a good way.

But I totally thought of Integrated when you were talking about this. So tell people about what that is and why we’re so stoked of, yeah, 15, 20 guys staying in a house together, working on our businesses, working on our families. What’s the plan?

Yeah, guys. So Jeff and I, we’re starting a new project this year where we want to get a group of guys together twice a year for two and a half days each time, and just talk about three things. How do we grow each other’s businesses? How do we integrate our faith into our business in ways that are creative and really helpful, but not destructive? And how do we integrate family into business? And so the group is actually called Integrated. So we’re going to post information on that at familyteams.com/integrated.

If you own a business, man, I cannot tell you what an opportunity you have to do some amazing kingdom things, and to what Jeff just said, to really cement a multi-generational culture. So that could be into assets that you guys are building into a business, or that could be an active business that you’re personally owning and running. And if you are in that situation, you or you and your partners or whatever, we would love to spend time with you. Spend five days a year just talking about this, and then coaching times in between, just really getting a conversation going between us as business owners and as family team builders. And so if you’re interested in that, go check that out. It’s just called Integrated, or familyteams.com/integrated.

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