The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable...About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life
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The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable...About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  459 ratings  ·  97 reviews
In this groundbreaking audiobook, business consultant Patrick Lencioni turns his sights on the most important organization in our lives–the family. Lencioni realized the discrepancy between the time and energy his clients put into running their organizations and the reactive way most people run their personal lives. Having experienced the stress of a frantic family firstha...more
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Published September 23rd 2008 by Random House Audio (first published 2008)
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Maria
The gist of this book is quite simple. All you need to do is answer these three big questions:

1. What makes our family unique?
.... (include core values and anchor points)
2. What is our most important priority in the next two to six months?
.... 2a. To do that we will...
.... 2b. We will also have to stay on top of our regular responsibilities...
3. How will we use our answers and keep them alive?

That's it.

By core values, the author means 2-3 values your family rates highly. For me, they are honesty...more
Lara Krupicka
Remember "Who Moved My Cheese?"? Think that book, only couched in a family setting. It's another "fable" - which is basically a literary term used to describe a made up story that perfectly illustrates the point the author wants to make. How convenient. It's also a way of taking a short topic and stretching it out to a book-length work. I have little tolerance for the fable as marketing gimmick.

The sad thing is, I think Lencioni has some important things to share with families - important concep...more
Tigran Mamikonian
This is another leadership fable from Pat Lencioni which attracted my attention due to very interesting angle of the management/strategy topic considered - leadership and management in families.

Author as always provides an fable from life before explaining the model itself. If you would ask me do give 1-sentence narrative of the book it would be: a family have to be managed as company, i.e. it should have a single and agreed upon values and strategy, shared context and clear and visible short-te...more
Virginia
Surprisingly, I enjoyed the fable part the most. Then, I remembered that I tend to absorb lessons via story more so than a list of instructions (like a business book). I can see why Lencioni uses fables. (I mean, if Jesus taught in parables, it makes sense, right?)

Like all self-help books, though the information is useful, without my actual implementation, it is dead and useless. I do think this will be more useful to me as my kids get older and do more things. It would definitely be a benefit t...more
Jean-Michel Ghoussoub
This book is about a business paradigm applied to family life: clarifying your values and setting goals and objectives. The concept is interesting, but I disagree with the author on the effectiveness of this method. I think he views family life in a way that is too mechanical and overly simplified.

I think the most fundamental aspect of family success is effective communication between family members, based on respect, understanding and different individual communications strategies.

The major d...more
Andy Anderson
Focusing on the next 60-90 days makes it easier to see the finished project/product.
Danielle
Dec 08, 2008 Danielle marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
My husband, who only reads management books, is insisting that I read this one.
Jeanna
In short, the questions are what makes my family unique? what is our short-term rallying cry? and how are we going to use it? (I have somewhat oversimplified, of course.)

I think the concept is a good one--particularly the part about having a central focus/rallying cry for a short time period (2-6 months), and we have decided to adopt some of his ideas for the near future. And it actually has helped us clarify whether/what to commit to in some areas.

However, I'm not convinced about the importance...more
Shannon
This book is set up as a fable to discuss the principles of family leadership. While I did not like the fable of this story too much, I did appreciate the message. I liked the actual case studies in the back showing the family statement and action plans. The examples made the ideas more real than the fable did.

Yesterday we sat down and had a family council based loosely on this book. I ran the discussion and Michael (who has not read the book) took notes. Our family statement turned out well, th...more
Craig
This is my second Lencioni book. I blasted through this book very quickly, as it is an easy quick read. But don't mistake it's length for lack of good content. I was very challenged by the principles in this book, though not foreign to me before reading this book, I still learned a lot from the way they were presented. Like Lencioni's other books the information was communicated through a fable, which has turned out to be an excellent format for me and I find very engaging. The seemingly real-wo...more
Liz Jenkins
This book is subtitled "A Leadership Fable . . . about restoring sanity to the most important organization in your life". This was a good read - easy and some great, really applicable information. Interesting that most of what he talks about is what our family already does - we've downsized our house, our daughter doesn't do lots of outside stuff that we have to shuttle her to, etc. He really analyzes what is going on in a lot of families, and then gives ways not only to deal with it but specifi...more
Jo Oehrlein
Very readable with nice short chapters. One half to two thirds of the book is fiction, while the other part is non-fiction further explanation of the process.

The 3 big questions are
* What makes this family unique?
* What is our primary goal for the next 2-6 months? (including steps to get there and other things we want to maintain during that time)
* How are we going to monitor our progress?

Seems like a very manageable way to give context to everyday decisions, especially if the problem is saying...more
Mtbike40
I thought that this was an excellent book on how to strengthen your family and business with a similar type approach. As business leaders we need to strengthen our families as well to be able to reach our full potential. This book does a great job of taking a business consulting approach and applying it to ones family.

Most interesting to me from this book is the discussion of core values. I have fallen into the trap of having a long list of "Core Values". I like the way Lencioni describes values...more
Lora
Matt and I read this together and it has changed so much of how I now see things. It has put so many things into perspectives. It opens up with a husband sharing with his wife that if his clients ran their business' like they ran their family, they would be out of business. I have felt that way so often in our family. I have felt on so many occasions the disorganization and chaos that surrounds life, because we all know life just happens and we never know what lies ahead. I am so happy we found...more
Dawn Olson
The techniques to learn are quite simple to grasp and could have been made into a simple pamphlet. Instead, I got to read a fable that was fun and I could often relate to, taking a journey to find answers to family management skills. Real life is like that...answers always come from a personal journey. I enjoyed the book and it have me much to think and consider.
Jason
Like you, I have a frantic life. In fact, I believe that all Americans simply do. We live in a society that thrives on busyness and moving from one thing to the next.

This frantic lifestyle has always frustrated me so picking up this book from the library was an easy choice.

Like his other books, this book by Lencioni focuses on running an organization in the most effective way. To me, this might be his best book. I read Five Dysfunctions a couple years ago and loved how the book was written wit...more
Theresa
I don't usually write my thoughts about what I'be read, but I feel like I need to add an explanation for this book. I don't feel frantic, but definitely I feel busy. Who wouldn't with whatever life they've created.

This book was recommended in a Christian Parenting magazine, so I requested it from the library. The ideas are based on running a successful company. I checked their website to download a copy of the model and hope to use it for getting us out of the house in the mornings.

Good read whe...more
Carolyn
I think that this is a very helpful book. I like the ideas, the 3 big questions to answer as a family so you are clear about what your core values are and what you need to do to align yourselves to them. The first question is "What makes your family unique?" This helps you determine what are your core values are, what you want to be like. The second is "What is your family's top priority right now?" so you decide what to focus on in the next 2-6 months. Third, "How do you talk about and use the...more
Chris Button
Remarkable book. I bought it to better think through managing my family, but find it incredibly relevant in managing a small team of project managers. His writing is clear and direct, even though it's told in story form. Easy to follow, with solid information to be extracted and applied (and with application examples).
Mark
While this book is really self-help, I'm also coding it under "Business": the central idea is if families, like businesses, apply a set of strategic planning and prioritizing exercises to how they "manage themselves," they will be happier and see better "results." One could argue that a family is an end in of itself, not a means to an end, so the jaded should not read this book--but I think it's a book that could have benefits to executives and managers who can use help being better parents and...more
Vít Kotačka
I am disappointed - I expect to be inspired when I'm reading a book about leadership or parenting. Well, I'm not inspired at all. I was even bored during the reading.

The main problem probably is that all the story looks artificial to me. And the second part, about the model, is written in that specific style, which is necessary for those people, who don't know that the cat doesn't belong to the microwave.

It's pity, because I really enjoyed another Lencioni's book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team...more
Angela
One of the best things I got from my mother is the view that family issues can be analyzed and addressed in a systematic way. Electric bill too high? Introduce a light-turning-off contest. Kids bickering too much in the van? Plaster the seat-backs with uplifting messages. No problem can't be solved with a chart or system or family meeting.

This book is by a business management consultant who points out that too often we approach family life in a whack-a-mole style. So he modifies some of his busi...more
Deanna Roy
I found the three big questions themselves to be very useful, and discussing them to really help focus my plans and decisions.

That said, the book is really mostly fluff. It was a little frustrating to read the "fable" part, where they go through the family trying to hammer out this system. You learn their missteps as well as the ultimate plan, and that was a lot of wasted time for families who are clearly frantic or we wouldn't be reading this!

I think you should skip straight to the end where th...more
Danielle
I liked it. I give it 4 stars for the pure back to basics and getting to the imporantance of family. I loved the emphasis on the need to keep our family organized and functional, and just as important (even MORE than) as any successful business. The parable was a little cheesy, but the point was there. I didn't find it as life changing as I had hoped, but I think it is because our girls are younger and we do not have so much going on in their lives that we need to evaluate. We also do weekly pla...more
Mohammed Alruwaigh
Very useful,
Helps clarifying the family direction (just the way u do @work!)
Elliot Davidson
Excellent message for families and businesses. Story is a bit hokey.
Karyn
GREAT book! With two toddlers, our family hasn't reached frantic quite yet. However, it is important to us to prevent as much "frantic" as possible. This book helped me think through our family's purpose. Now that I have my own thoughts, I'm waiting for James to read the book so we can come up with our own answers to the three big questions.

In my opinion this well-written book is a great read for any family not-quite-frantic, completely frantic, and everything in between. I'll be recommending it...more
Gavin Seal
Great ideas for better family management.
Sandra
This is the second book I have read by this author. He gives practical advice through a fable. That makes his points much easier to understand and more enjoyable to learn. This book is not just for frantic families, but for any family that wants to take hold of their lives and not just float through life taking what comes. It all sounds great in the book, and I really feel like his methods will work. I guess the question is am I willing to put forth the effort into the most important part of my...more
Mike Denk
Great book for practical strategies within the family.
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Patrick Lencioni is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, consultant and founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to helping organizations become healthy. Lencioni’s ideas around leadership, teamwork and employee engagement have impacted organizations around the globe. His books have sold nearly three million copies worldwide.

When Lencioni is not writing, he consults to...more
More about Patrick Lencioni...
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Management Fable About Helping Employees Find Fulfillment in Their Work

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