Editor’s Note: Family matters

December 12, 2016 -  By

I must have looked like I was preparing a thesis on Patrick Lencioni last week, as I walked out of the library with a stack of the author’s books in my arms.

You see, during Phil Harwood’s workshop at the fifth annual LM Lawn Care Forum in Orlando, Fla., last month, I pulled up my local library’s app and placed holds on all the Lencioni books available.

I initially sought out “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.” It had been recommended to me before, and Harwood’s session, “Mastering the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team,” was based on the concepts from this 2002 book. Learning about the book’s model—which is essentially a pyramid with “trust” on the bottom, “results” on the top and other vital business components in between—opens your eyes to why some teams just aren’t effective. It’s all pieces of a puzzle you’ve seen and heard before, but Lencioni puts them together in an enlightening way.

But a week later, when my library holds were ready for pickup, a different book caught my eye: “The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family.” I read it in one evening. (Lencioni’s books are told primarily in fable form, so they’re pretty quick reads.)

Now, would I describe my family as “frantic?” No, not before. But I do often feel like we’re on a carnival ride that we never intended to get on, and it’s never going to stop.

I know many of you feel the same way because “work/life balance” frequently comes up as a top concern among our readers in our research.

We’re all running in a million directions between work, school, extracurricular activities, community and family commitments and so on. We feel like we can’t say no. All of it’s supposed to be fun, but no one’s really enjoying it.

This book raises the question, “If you ran your company the way you run your family, would you go out of business?”

That’s the way one of the characters in “The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family” feels. His wife takes issue with him saying so—she thinks he’s implying she’s disorganized—but that’s not it. He’s responsible for the chaos, too. As a management consultant, he knows companies need to identify their core values, outline their strategies and have systems in place for accountability. Why shouldn’t families do the same? So, throughout the story the husband and wife work together to create a management plan for their family and others.

During this time of year more than ever, I seek a less hurried existence for myself and my family, so this book found me at the right time. If you ever feel like you’d like to get off that wild ride—and ensure your family doesn’t “go out of business”—you might want to add this one to your wish list.

Happy Holidays.

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About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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