You’ve probably heard of Fox’s hit show, Family Guy, no matter if you watch it on a regular basis or you only watch it occasionally. Well, I am a big fan to say the least! The other night I was watching the boob-tube and came across the episode where Brian is replaced by a new puppy. Basically, the episode shows that a new guy cannot fully replace a valued and established family member. The same theme rings true in reality. An industry is like a family; every business has their place within the circle and contributes irreplaceable qualities to the mix. Older members stick around while new members join and roles can change based on hard work and motivation.
So what are the places available in an industry family? Using the 6 main Family Guy characters as a comparison guide, I have come up with 6 personality categories that many businesses are likely to embody at some point during their race to success.
Peter Griffin - The dad.
Peter is married to Lois. When he saw Lois for the first time he was working a crappy job. He instantly fell in love with her.
This is the business that obtains a little knowledge and decides that everyone needs to know they are no longer the new business. Normally, if you embody the traits in this category then you have a small amount of understanding so you think you know what you are talking about. Although, most often you come across as a know-it-all.
Chris Griffin - The son.
Chris is a lot like his father, already proving that he is not the sharpest tool in the shed. He spends most of his time picking fuzzies out of his belly button.
This is the typical new business to the industry. Your presence here means that you have little to no experience, you are often corrected, and you do not sound like a seasoned professional when you speak to others in your field.
Meg Griffin - The daughter.
Meg is emotional and strives for people to like her.
Businesses in this place are neither ignorant nor experienced. If you belong here, then you may have matured from the “Peter Griffin” stage but now you want people to like and respect you. This task proves difficult because you are still not fully knowledgeable when it comes to doing business.
Stewie Griffin - The baby.
Stewie is one of a kind. He is devious, motivated, and incredibly intelligent. Stewie is paranoid even to the people that try to help him.
This company got pissed while in the “Meg Griffin” stage and hit the books to learn more about business strategies and tactics. If your business fits into this category, then you have become very intelligent and knowledgeable. You are a lone wolf who is determined to reach the top no matter what you have to do (or who you have to step on) to get there.
Brian Griffin - The dog.
Brian is almost like Peter’s mentor. Brian is highly intelligent, articulate, and very knowledgeable. However, he is reserved and has a quiet confidence.
These companies are very stable and rational, have a lot of connections, and are content where they are. If your business fits well here, then you’re on the right track to a successful industry run.
Lois Griffin - The mom.
Lois is the reasonable, level-headed “glue” that holds the family together. She is insightful, thoughtful and helpful.
These companies are the industry leaders that have gained invaluable knowledge and common sense over the years. They are the mega-companies that you think of when you think of the industry. You should be proud to belong to this personality category!
With time and effort, the companies in those family positions can eventually change. Getting a solid role in the family is harder in some industries than in others; some industries are as dysfunctional as the Sopranos while others are prim and proper like the Cleavers. But one thing remains true across the industries: every industry is like a family and like every member has specific roles to fill.
So take a look at your industry as a whole. Are you in the role that you want to be in?