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  1. #1
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Default Need some advice about my ENTP brother.

    Last few years but moreso the past few months, he seems depressed, frustrated, tired and generally ill. Constantly whining about back pains (he's 30 wtf?) etc.. Also, he is neglecting quite a bit in his job, and whilest I'm no record holder either in that department especially when it comes to administration work (I hate the administration! ) , some key elements are being damaged because of his actions, and at least I do what needs to be done. Not to mention my will to be 'around him' isn't very high at the moment. So I'm kind of thankful most of the work I do is not at the company, so I don't have to run into him too much since he brings me down with him. But that's also the biggest problem right now.

    Since we've shifted into different jobs for the company, I've started to work a lot more on the front side of the company giving the service to customers and making sure the customers are getting what they want, whilest he slowly shifted towards the backend of the company, from initial customer relations to the legal aspects of the company, where I am just advising/sharing ideas. Now that's all good and all. But the issue is that he is starting to treat me as 'just an employee/driver' whilest he is acting like the high and mighty director making all the 'big descisions'. Whilest in reality he's not the maker but the executer or those descision. Obviously big difference.

    As for his personality, there is a huge increase in bullshit stories, literally every conversation I sit in on with him and some of our employees for example, he will take a true story and totally blow the shit out of it proportionally, now he does this his entire life already, but never to the extent he is nowadays. Exaggerating everything so obviously. I'm actually starting to wonder if he actually believes himself, whenever he goes exxageration mode, I don't even bother correcting him and just let him be, usually making up some excuse to leave the conversation whilest obviously letting him know he's bullshitting without needing to 'humiliate him' in front of others. Not to mention he is now constantly marking his territory, letting people know how high and mighty he is and all. I seriously fear, not just for him and the company, but myself as well now. He does have the company stock, which is also fine with me, but clearly he's in a phase where he isn't making very good descisions and that might not bode well for the company and my place in it.

    I have 'poked' him about this many times in the past in subtle ways that he should be able to understand and at times there were these 'unspoken' understanding that he realizes he took something too far and he'll probably do something to 'mend' things without there actually being any conversation about the issue, but that was fine with me, and things worked between us. I always managed to handle him and keep him in check for years. Lately however, he seems to be on full ignore to my probes and I seem to be unable to control him any longer.

    Today I nearly blurted it all out and set him straight, but quite frankly, I don't think that would solve any problems at this moment, it'd only prove to make things difficult for us in the future, he clearly isn't in a 'listen to reason' kind of mood these days, so I'm not sure how to handle him right now.

    I'm hoping he figures stuff out by himself, but there's too much at stake and the fact I shifted to the front end, doesn't really make it my position to push him around in his eyes.

    For now I'm sure he realizes my value to the company still, but for how long I wonder.

    Any input is welcome, just thoughts is enough, I'm just exploring however I can deal with the situation. Right now, remaining passive and wait things through seems like my only option. It least it feels that way considering my position. But things need to change soon if this isn't going to be a major problem.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  2. #2
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    he's probably really really bored with his life and is trying to make it sound exciting in his own ears. depression - ENTP style - is usually a listless ennui stemming from sheer boredom. I get physically ill when I am unhappy, because it's all I think about and stress about. It takes a toll.

    I can guarantee that the only thing that will exhibit a real change is him quitting his job or finding a true love, or something equally as life-changing and all-encompassing. small things just don't cut it. even a long exotic vacation may help.

  3. #3
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    Any input is welcome, just thoughts is enough, I'm just exploring however I can deal with the situation. Right now, remaining passive and wait things through seems like my only option. It least it feels that way considering my position. But things need to change soon if this isn't going to be a major problem.
    Also, a word of advice for all you INTPs out there: remaining passive with an ENTP is never the right way to go. If something comes up, then just deal with it. We don't react well to someone coming with load of pent up baggage towards us. Trust me, it goes a lot easier and quicker if you just say what you want to say when something bothers you, and then move on. I never get upset when someone confronts me, but I get REALLY upset when they don't.

  4. #4
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Considering he is in a relationship and takes a lot of vacations, I think that's out of the question as well.

    I fear if I confront him now in his current state, I'm gonna be inbetween jobs myself.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  5. #5
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Well, if you are bracing for a fight and posturing and whining, you surely will get a fight in return.

    That's why I prefer people to say shit the minute it comes up, so there's no built up emo explosion. A simple "I'm having problems clearly defining our roles in the company - can we figure out some boundaries?" is much better than "you always do this and that, and all this other bullshit".

    Feel me?

    As far as what he's missing, I can't answer that. But I'm sure he feels like something is missing - if he's anything like me.

  6. #6
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    As for how you and your brother interact at work in your job roles: At most companies, things like seniority, jurisdiction, and responsibilities are spelled out somewhere on paper. That way, in the event of a big conflict, you can go to the job descriptions in the archives to see who has the final word.

    If you don’t have something like that spelled out, you may want to sit down and do so. In fact, this is where small, casual companies often fail: As they grow, they become subject to new stresses and strains. If they forget to put in place the administrative frameworks that the bigger companies take for granted, those new stresses and strains can tear the small company apart.

    This kind of situation (interpersonal stresses and strains in a smalll-but-growing company) is often a signal that it’s time to pay an outside consultant to come in and look at your company and design some administrative structures and procedures appropriate to your company’s development stage. (And maybe even advise you on taking on more personnel, if necessary.) I know an INTP and an ENTP will probably revolt at the idea of imposing administrative structures and restraints, but those things exist for a reason. They’re not just straitjackets for small minds, or whatever. They help sort out work conflicts and give everyone firm footing in a stressful, changing environment.

    Anyway, once you have something like that, your brother’s cockiness in the workplace would be less of an issue. He can play around at acting like the boss, but in the event of an actual conflict or key decision, you both have paperwork telling you who is really in charge of what jurisdiction or fiefdom.

    As for non-work interactions, best thing to do is give him space to be himself. You can’t change people, so let him be a boastful, cocky SOB if that’s who he wants to be. IOW, secure your work relations with an administrative paper trail, and then quit worrying about the rest of it.

    Of course there’s one other issue, and your post kind of hints at it: What if your brother is going nuts and is becoming unable to make good decisions in the workplace, or even is just slacking off excessively, i.e. to the point where he’s simply not doing his job competently?

    If he is going nuts, you edge him out of the company; or you quit the company yourself. However, your post doesn’t really indicate that he’s going nuts. It sounds more like he’s becoming depressive and just isn’t giving his job the attention it deserves.

    If the latter is the case, this can be resolved by putting in place that administrative structure that I mentioned earlier. Job descriptions can include very specific descriptions of each person’s responsibility to the organization. And if your brother clearly isn’t meeting the requirements of the job description, then you can use the job description as justification for bringing in outside help (putting your brother on part-time status and bringing in a specialist for certain parts of his job, for example) or even for eventually edging your brother out of the company altogether. Again, this is a good reason to bring in an outside consultant. The outside consultant can say what’s a reasonable workload for each job position, i.e., provide an objective measure for these things.

    Anyway, my point should be pretty clear by now. If you try to resolve these things directly with your brother, then it’s easy for things to get personal and for your brother to accuse you of being subjective and unfair. OTOH, if you set up an administrative structure and use that to measure and resolve conflicts, then the conflict stays impersonal. And bringing aboard an outside consultant to help set up your administrative structure will legitimize the structure and give it the aura of extra objectivity.

    Aside from that, I would just let your brother be himself. Once you and he are off hours, you presumably have no cause to police him. Hopefully he works out his issues eventually; you can just play the role of supportive sibling and hope for the best.

    Anyway, this is my understanding of how these things are handled in the entrepreneurial company environment.

  7. #7
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I understand where you are coming from completely, and it it wasn't such a dilemma I would have confronted him right at the start of things like I have done plenty before, but since I have no ground to stand on, and he is neglecting his job, it boils down to the fact he either has to shape up, or one of us leaves, since it isn't working out with him at the helm as it is right now. But it is unlikely he will be the one leaving, if you catch my drift. I can confront him all I want, but unless it actually helps him, I'm out of the picture.

    Our company existed since 1887, and many generations have had family issues, (my uncle seperated from my father in 1994 and has a similar company now in the same town, being our main competitor), that is why my father decided that only one would get the stock and the other just the job, my brother being first born got the stock, and I just the job. So from a legitimate perspective, I'm fucked. Even though the company wouldn't be where it is now without me. Heck, 75% of our current revenue is from the markets I steered us in. And despite having quite some employees, I am current front ending in twice as much then any other employee, and I'm cheap while I'm doing it.

    I fully admit to being frustrated by all this myself. But all I really care about is my brother doing his job, so I can do mine. And he can have the company, that's not an issue for me. But he isn't right now, and I don't know what to do about it.

    On one side, I'm being self-destructive about it. There have been plenty of times I've wanted to leave the company in the past, maybe it's just time for me to find something else to do. If he wants to burn the company, he can do it by himself.

    But on the other side, I feel like I have an obligation to the company and the family. And since I left school early in order to help out in desperate times, I don't have any degrees that would help me get a job I might actually enjoy. And even though the job I do right now is a bit much, from the hours I put into it. I do enjoy a large part of it. Just not the part where I have to deal with my brother atm. :P
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  8. #8
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Ahh, ok. This is what I mean. Ti doms are judgers by nature... You are already coming into this with a conclusion. You've thought it out and weighed everything and made a decision. Him or me.

    I don't operate that way. But you're not me.

    So the only thing I can do is ask you to separate these 2 issues and walk me through them... Are you more concerned about your brother and his mental state, or are you more concerned about your stake in this company? In a perfect world, you could sort them both out at once, or at least have them be separate issues, but this world is far from perfect. In other words: what sort of advice are you looking for - a way to get him out, or a way to get him help?

    Again, I don't recommend being passive, even if that means you are making moves behind the scenes.

  9. #9
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Wait, am I to understand that you DON'T have stock in the company? If that's the reality, I see your dilemma more clearly. Either way, curious to hear your answer to my questions.

  10. #10
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    Okay, if you already have the administrative structures in place and you and your brother simply have irreconcilable differences, then quit your brother's company and seek employment at your uncle's company.

    [Edit:] In any case, it sounds like there's a big disparity in power and you don't really have any recourse when it comes to influencing your brother's behavior. If he's going to run the company into the ground, there's not much you can do about it when he has all the stock. There just comes a point where you quit worrying about him and look for greener pastures elsewhere.

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