Running life at home like a corporation


What is your family's priority right now? Most would say surviving - but that's a bit boring and not very productive. This new model gets the family to focus on a goal - and helps everyone feel good when that goal is accomplished.

Pat Lencioni spends his days teaching CEOs how to set and reach their goals. Yet at home -- just getting his four kids through the day was considered a success.

"I was going home at night after trying to make my company and other people's companies more sane and healthy and at home I was winging it, and so it was really out of desperation I thought some of this must work at home," said Pat Lencioni, author.

Lencioni decided to take the model from the boardroom to the living room. But first he had to convince his toughest client.

"I think I'm the last person to adapt anything he says, because he's my husband and I don't want him to be my consultant. I have to say it's been fabulous, it really has," said Laura Lencioni, wife and mother.

The first thing they did was start asking questions.

"What are our values that make us different than the family next door, what's our life situation and then what's the biggest priority in our lives and what do we need to get it done," said Pat Lencioni.

At the top of the chart - the biggest priority becomes the family's rallying cry. Right now - the Lencioni family is striving for peace at home. Once you identify what you're working toward and what everyone needs to do to make it a reality - they say the guilt that tugs at every parent melts away.

"Now when somebody says 'hey do you want to do this' or 'sign the kids up for this activity' - with a great deal more courage and less guilt we can say no - that doesn't make sense for our family - or that would be a great thing for us," said Pat Lencioni.

The rallying cry can be as broad as working for peace, or as specific as trying to figure out if you want to move or take on a remodel. It can change every few months. You only need to spend an hour or less on this model. The point is giving the family a focus. This summer, the Lencionis said no to summer camps, in order to have more family time and to have time for all the doctors appointments they had skipped during the year. Even the kids felt a sense of accomplishment when the family corporation reached success.

"We knew what the end goal was and to actually have done that and do what you set out to do it so exciting," said Laura Lencioni.

Once a week -- he suggests having a quick ten minute meeting. Let the kids assign colors to their tasks -- they can color green on the chart if they've done a good job that week -- red if maybe they need to work harder on their end of the deal.

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