Disruptive Successor Podcast

Episode 45 - Talking with Rich Russakoff, Coach To The Best About His Family Business, Coaching And His New Book

Episode Summary

Joining Jonathan Goldhill in this episode of the Disruptive Successor Podcast is Rich Russakoff, internationally acclaimed business coach, author, serial entrepreneur, and President and CEO of Coach to The Best. Rich has a well of knowledge and wisdom in family business as their dry cleaning business has been operational for 7 decades. He shares their initial successes and the eventual difficulties of having entitled and irresponsible family members in key positions. He discusses how personal relationships can get in the way of success and what others can do to improve their own dynamics and, if need be, have difficult conversations. Rich also speaks on his book and how he shares stories to teach the good, the bad, and the ugly on family business.

Episode Notes


04:09 Nurturing a work ethic with Rich's family dry cleaning business 

09:39 Riots in the 60s were a major challenge to the business

12:42 Setting boundaries for the success of a family business

19:38 Family dynamics: Taking responsibility and expectations 

24:19 People Time & Money: Rich's wisdom in managing a business

30:21 Managing people and salaries cannot be personal

36:13 Difficult family members/employees and difficult conversations

46:40 If you were fired and a new CEO came, what would they do?


16:41 "If you're parents and your children go into your business and they're actually costing you money and not being responsible, you need to find a way to set boundaries."

22:29 "Anyone who wants to take the easy road to go into a family business, if it's not where your heart is and if you don't really feel that you're bringing out the best in yourself, I would say do something else."

25:49 "By the time you get to 25 to 50 people, you don't know all your customers, you may not know all the people that work for you, communication systems break down, systems and processes break down, what used to work no longer works, and it's not scalable." 

35:20 "The one question I like to ask is, if you had to hire them over again, would you? And if the answer is no, then I say, why are they still here? And that seems to be an awakening."

36:42 "Criticize the behavior, not the person, or now why the behavior is out of context with the values, how it hurts the business, and that you need to change that behavior. And be the coach, not the cop."

To learn more about Rich, you can check out the links below.

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