Family Purpose Statement
If we ran our companies the way we run our families, what would happen?
Patrick Lencioni gives us insight in his book The 3 Big Questions for the Frantic Family.
This book made me smile, cringe and cry (well, almost). I didn’t have any problem finishing it. It was coming home from vacation and doing something withthe information. I had just been given artillery to fight back against the “frantic family syndrome” and now I had to applythe knowledge.
It took some time, and a great deal of thought. But together we came up with our Family Purpose Statement. Instead of making decisions based on the immediate, or out of obligation, we have something to help guide us and give us vision when moving forward.
We started by asking one question: “What makes us unique?”
We came up with a long list of qualities that make us different from every other family on our street. We listed our core values and what things we hope to instill in our children. Here are just a few:
- followers of Jesus
- attitudes of gratitude
- travel and adventure is a priority
- committed to an active lifestyle
- home centered learning
- bold faith
- “can do” attitude
- choosing to be in relationship with people
What emerged were repeated themes. From those themes, we started writing sentences about who we are and what is important in shaping our daily lives.
When some people get to this step they arrive at a few simple sentences. Others pen a whole paragraph. It should be something that easily defines you and “sounds” like the personality of your family. Here is what we came up with:
We are passionate followers of Jesus. We work hard, pray hard and play hard. We make time for people, and all types of adventures. We view education as a love for learning, not school work. We believe that thanksgiving, hospitality, and generosity are a lifestyle. We are the Fullers.
It is simple. It describes who we are and we want our kids to be. It explains our values and gives reason for the decisions we make.
And this is important - it defines us. Not the hipster family down the street in matching skinny jeans. Not the super athletic family (you know, the ones we all claim to want to be like, but then roll our eyes when they talk about 5AM ‘family’ runs.)
When you read your Family Purpose Statement to your closest friends, they shouldn’t raise their eyebrows in shock. They should be nodding along, knowing that the words you are speaking are a representation of the life you live.
We don’t want to live our lives simply coping. We don’t want to go flailing through our days, frantically moving from one decision/activity/circumstance to the next. We want to live our lives fuller. With confidence. With purpose.
If you’re like many families who are struggling with the balance of work, kids, school, church, volunteering, money issues, social obligations, travel, marriage and other relationships, you can find clarity for your life. Coming up with a Family Purpose Statement is a great place to start. And of course, I highly recommend reading the book (remember, it’s a quick read).
[Tweet “If it’s important for the board room, how much more should it be a priority in the family room?”]