So why not run your family like a business? Patrick Lencioni has written extensively about managing people as a business and now has written a leadership “fable” about restoring sanity to your family life. In the fable the fictional family finds that they must pare down the number of questions typically posed to a business to be accepted by stressed families. Sometimes you are just too busy to take steps to become less busy. Families have to face the fact that “if everything is important, nothing is.” I can relate to the harried life as parents of three active children as we zipped here and there trying to give them different experiences. We certainly could have used some of these techniques, but our children are all adults and will soon be facing these challenges themselves.
The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family are rather basic (What makes your family unique? What is your family’s top priority, rallying cry, right now”? How do you talk about and use the answers to these questions?) I believe that the last question is the most important. Once you set the priority (whether short or long term) your family decisions should be based on accomplishing that goal. If your goal is trying to get out of debt, an expensive vacation may not be the best path.
One thing that may seem weird is that Lencioni suggests regular meetings between family members. After dinner last Sunday my daughters and I had a meeting without really knowing it. Our unstated goal was to coordinate the use of three cars to support four full-time jobs. It worked.