Relationship Series #2: 8 Equivalents of Functional Teams & Functional Families


functional families


Life Area: Relational

Topic: Functional Families

8 Equivalents of Functional Teams & Functional Families

Continuing my blog theme of “Relationships” for this month of Valentine’s Day, I identify today 8 habits that crossover from functional teams at work to functional families at home. It was an article in Real Simple magazine by author Patrick Lencioni (The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team) that prompts this post translating organizational dynamics to a family setting:


Identify your core values. Companies define their core values because they provide a great framework for making all kinds of decisions. To apply this idea to your family, think about what common traits drive each family member.


Establish a single top priority.  If everything is important, nothing is. Too many companies fail because they spread their time and energies too thin. Answer this question as it relates to your family: “If we accomplish one big thing as a family in the next few months, what should it be?”, and then work on it.


If we accomplish one big thing as a family in the next few months,

what should it be?


Keep your values and top priority visible.  You don’t need an engraved plaque stating your vision and mission, but write it down and stick it on the refrigerator where everyone will see it everyday.


Don’t make snap decisions.  Companies (and families) tend to take on commitments out of peer pressure or guilt, before they understand what’s involved. Gather information and then make a decision.


Understand your opportunity cost.  In business, when taking one course of action prevents a company from accomplishing other tasks, we talk about opportunity cost. Knowing your core values will drive your decisions and remove any sense of guilt you might otherwise have had.


Don’t confuse long-term strategies and short-term tactics.  For parents, this can take the form of discussing what to have for dinner in the same breath as talking finances. Vital issues can get short shrift or be entirely lost in the minutiae if you don’t stop, filter them out, and return to them later.


Meet often to review your progress.  Don’t groan. Families do need to meet once a week, for no more than 10 minutes, to review what’s going on and what adjustments need to be made to their time and priorities.


Get out of the “office” from time to time.  Most executives I work with develop a condition I call adrenaline addiction: They’re convinced that they can never slow down and think about the big picture because there is so much to do right now, which inevitably ends in burnout. Parents should also take time as a couple to view calmly the bigger picture of their family.

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