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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great BOOK!!!
First I will admit that I am a fan of Lencioni's previous titles. The author's style of writing is to teach trough a story of characters that you can identify with. The sub-title of the book is "A Leadership Fable". This is not a book that proposes a lesson through theory but through application.

I found myself able to identify with the characters in the...
Published on September 4, 2008 by J. K. Brown

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Limited Perspective
Although the main focus of this book is to restore sanity to families, there are some tidbits here that organizations can glean. Like many of Lencioni's books, it reveals its information through the unfolding of a fable. The book takes a business strategy for achieving organizational clarity (determining core purpose, core values, business definition, strategy, goals, and...
Published on February 28, 2012 by Marty Jacobs


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great BOOK!!!, September 4, 2008
This review is from: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life (Hardcover)
First I will admit that I am a fan of Lencioni's previous titles. The author's style of writing is to teach trough a story of characters that you can identify with. The sub-title of the book is "A Leadership Fable". This is not a book that proposes a lesson through theory but through application.

I found myself able to identify with the characters in the story from the first page all the way through the entire book. I completed the book in three hours because I could not stop reading once I picked it up.

If you find yourself asking when does the chaos end between work, home, personal life then the 3 Big Question approach may just a tool that can get you pointed in the right direction. Is it earth shaking knowledge? No, but rarely are most practical approaches to dealing with business or family.

Is the approach by the author a silver bullet. No! But I believe the concept is simple enough and profound enough for almost any family that it will at least bring the family to the table to start discussing what is important and what is the priority for your family.

It's a great book. I would recommend for anyone no matter if you are a single, couple, family with small children or those who have no children at home.

If I could I would give everyone a copy. It's that good.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Change Your (family) Life, September 20, 2008
By 
J. Klaus (Dallas, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life (Hardcover)
Reactive? Scattered? Frantic? Chaotic? Stressed?

When I read Verne Harnish's recommendation of this book, I knew I had to read it. Verne's book "Mastering the Rockefeller Habits" on how to tame the chaos of a fast growing company has helped our business immensely. I even applied what I learned about running our company to my family--with good results. I don't know if Verne had that objective in mind, but it just made sense that if we clarified our values, purpose, and goals as a family, we should all be able to move in the same direction, just like we strive to do every day at work.

The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family specifically takes business health principles and applies them to the family. Very few families think of themselves as an organization that should strategically and systematically pursue improvement. But they should! We have 5 kids, ages 2 to 16, with a lot of activities in and out of the home. Do we have chaos? Absolutely. Can we tame the madness and live in peace and alignment in purpose? Patrick Lencioni says "yes," and the plan is far more simple than you might think.

Simple? Really? Can a business consultant and writer really make these concepts accessible to an average dad or mom who doesn't define and implement strategy at work? Yes. How? First, by telling how it's done in fable form from the perspective of a stay at home mom. And second, Theresa not only learns how to tame the chaos and bring sanity back, but she teaches the method to her friends, which gives us several examples of what it looks like in different families with various problems.

Theresa and her husband Jude answer the 3 big questions:

1. What makes your family unique?
2. What is your family's top priority?
3. How do you talk about and use the answers to these questions?

Theresa and Jude learn how to answer these questions and then apply the answers to their lives. Sanity and quality return to their family. They learn that "running a family, though difficult, should not be complicated. Like most things in life--marriage, parenting, leadership, physical fitness, financial stability--it comes down to mastering a handful of simple concepts, which requires more persistence and dedication than it does intelligence."

Now it's time for us to answer the 3 big questions, apply the answers in the context of our situation, and to achieve the clarity that will help us live our family life to the fullest.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting Until Your Family Implodes?, October 17, 2008
This review is from: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life (Hardcover)
In "The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family," fabled Pat Lencioni offers us a fable focusing on the most important organization in life, our family. Motivated by his own experience and observation of his contemporaries, Lencioni concludes today's parents are stressed out and overwhelmed because they operate by the seat of their pants. The long term costs are real but go unappreciated until the family implodes. Unfocused day to day living increases rates of depression, substance abuse, and psychological illness leading to serious dysfunctions and divorce.

Lencioni offers a prescription for restoring sanity and ensuring more purposeful, less frantic lives. It centers on three key questions:
1. What makes your family unique?
2. What is your family's top priority - rallying cry - right now?
3. How will you use the answers? And how will you keep the answers alive?

The fundamental principal applied by Lencioni is context. Once a family knows the context in which it operates, they will have an agreed-upon guide for family decision-making.

My wife, who read this in one sitting, loved the book as well. She noted that Lencioni's model provides couples with an exellent methodology for dialogue on child rearing and day-to-day living. "The model leads to consistency on decisions and a way to judge a couple's response to unplanned events. Most importantly, it will knit couples closer together as it leads to better coordination and mutual support."

This is an excellent book for all families. Prior to the publication of "The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family," Lencioni tested his prescription and provides outcomes from a number of families who tried the medicine. He notes every family plan will be different and will not alleviate all stress, as some chaos is inevitable.

I read "The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family" with my children's families in mind only to discover that Lencioni's sage advice is hard to ignore for any couple, regardless of age.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air for the family!, October 6, 2008
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This review is from: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life (Hardcover)
My wife and I have really grown with the simple steps outlined in The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family. Our 7 year old is totally involved as well.

I'm a successful business professional, and have always been experiencing mixed feelings during personal life because of the chaos.

At the times our family is disappointed when things aren't living up to our idea of the "perfect day," or month, or year, I have many feelings including:
- Sadness the family is disappointed - seeing the long faces of my wife and kids. I want us to be happy.
- Hopeful since I wait for my family to "finally" realize a little bit of team communication can go a long way to producing the results we want.
- Openly excited that maybe there will be some family buy-in to my desires to focus on teamwork now that we, once again, feel the pain of "what we are doing is not working" - so how about a change in how we do things around the home?

Patrick Lencioni's book has changed that! I read the book first, being a huge fan of all of Lencioni's books. By reading excepts to my lovely spouse, she became interested enough to read the book herself. Soon my wife was saying, "that's me! that's us!" and she read the book as fast as she would read her People magazine!

We are actively participating in the three steps as a family and the results are amazing. Short meetings, once a week, limited to 10 minutes, and our family is so much happier and functional than ever before.

This is a wonderful book for any family. Lots of books have "the right stuff" for families, and what sets The 3 Big Questions apart from other books in my mind is that the story of the fable format will appeal to people who ordinarily wouldn't read a book like this.

I hope to some day meet Mr. Lencioni and thank him in person. Our family life has gone to a whole new level around here!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is good stuff!, September 25, 2008
This review is from: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life (Hardcover)
I have always been a fan of Lencioni's work and I was so excited to see this new book. I have experienced great success in implementing Lencioni's models in the business world. The notion of taking the best of his simple, yet potent business models and applying them to the family is genius!

Families all over are doing too much and are not being able to focus on what's really important. Having the chance to really determine what makes your family unique is a powerful process to engage in.

Using the Thematic Goal (an amazing way to get things figured out and accomplished) is an easy to understand and powerful thing to use in families. It is a great way to "rally" the family under one common goal.

Finally, I really loved Lencioni's treatment of the whole concept of meeting together. This is so important for families to do in the vexing world we live in. We hold "family council" on a weekly basis. It is a must for our busy family where we are always going here, there, and everywhere.

I really think that the family is the most important organization is the world. The family is the place where the most important things can be accomplished. Having these clear and concise tools will have a great impact on any family that is wise enough to read, learn, and apply.

Good stuff!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Limited Perspective, February 28, 2012
This review is from: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life (Hardcover)
Although the main focus of this book is to restore sanity to families, there are some tidbits here that organizations can glean. Like many of Lencioni's books, it reveals its information through the unfolding of a fable. The book takes a business strategy for achieving organizational clarity (determining core purpose, core values, business definition, strategy, goals, and roles and responsibilities) and whittles it down and translates it into a simpler form that families can use to be more intentional about how they operate and engage. I particularly liked the larger model for organizations but found the simpler model for families to be a bit too idealistic and simplistic. My overall impression was that the author was targeting upper middle class white suburban intact families. Lencioni claims that raising a family shouldn't be complicated, to which I wondered, what about blended families, families with special needs kids, families with domestic violence and/or poverty, single parent families? Like so many authors who try to expand their work beyond their traditional field of expertise, I believe this is an instance where the author should stick to his knitting. I'm sure his model works well for a certain type of family, but I found the perspective to be too narrow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for a chaotic family, March 16, 2013
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This review is from: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life (Hardcover)
My husband and I are both working professionals in highly demanding jobs. We met and were married in our early 30's and from there had 2 children - boys. They are now 7&5. I am an avid reader of business books, but less so of 'parenting' books. I was checking my LinkedIn account and there was a link to an article on 'great books you have to read'. I perused the list and the title of this book jumped out at me. Given our hectic lifestyle, I don't have time for a complete life makeover, but I certainly have time to answer 3 questions - if they are useful.

And these are useful! Due to my background, the way the book was written and the sample answers it gives, made complete sense. As I got through each chapter, more and more of the thoughts and ideas seemed so simple, yet something I never would have applied to my family - work… yes / family…no. And yet for most of us our family is the most important aspect of our lives.

This book takes you through how the questions were developed - in the story the person who comes up with them is a mom (very relatable) - and the people who answer them are parents. This makes them useful examples of how you might answer them rather than some PhD theory of how families "should" work.

Even better - there are no judgments leveled in this book as to how a family 'should be'. It only gives you:
• Easy tools to define your family
• Talks specifically about an extremely important concept "context" (big one)
• A way to begin focusing your efforts as a family

I highly recommend it as an easy read (only took 4 days to get through - which is about 4 hours on a regular schedule), but an extremely useful read for chaotic, harried families.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Applying business concepts to the family sensibly, December 12, 2008
This review is from: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life (Hardcover)
First, I think Patrick Lencioni's books are somewhat unique. The books, from The Five Temptations of a CEO right on through to The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family, all use the tool of a story to get the message across. This style, alone, does not make them unique. The fact that the author gives you a 20-40 page non-fiction book at the end of the fable does indeed make them different.

Some people like the "lesson as story" type of books and others like the "lesson as fact" type of books. This book uses both methods. The first 168 pages tell the story of a family moving from chaos to focus using the 3 Big Questions. The next 52 pages present the same information in a non-fiction style. The author calls this latter section the Model in his various books.

Now for the specifics of The 3 Big Questions. The story of the Cousins family helps you see why all of the "extras" that are usually used in business strategy are removed from the 3 Big Questions model. This benefit is very important if you've read a lot of business books. If you jump straight to the Model at the end of the book, you're likely to find yourself asking why this or that is not included - as I did. When I went back to the beginning and read the story, I could see clearly.

Overall, the book presents a simple model that can be employed in an initial 30-90 minute meeting with the family or just the parents. After that, between 10 and 20 minutes per week is all that's needed to keep things moving along in a focused manner. I've read it myself and greatly enjoyed it. Now, my wife and I will read it together and see how we can adjust our current family model based on the new insights it provides.

To the author: excellent work here!
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big Fan of Lencioni - But . . ., January 9, 2009
By 
Paul W Sauer (Fremont, California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life (Hardcover)
I have read a number of Lencioni's previous books and found them to be insightful and extremely helpful. In particular, the "Five Dysfunctions of a Team" is very powerful and highly recommended. However, "The 3 Big Questions" was painful to listen to. And maybe that is the issue - I rarely have time to read books, so I 'read' most books by listening to them on CD while driving. It didn't take long to conclude that the reader's voice was grating, and I'm sure it didn't help that a male voice tries to impersonate a female voice (with little success). In addition, the dialogue between the characters did not flow well compared to previous Lencioni efforts. (I listened to "Five Dysfunctions of a Team" so clearly it isn't the fable-type format that doesn't play well on CD.) In short, the book was hard to follow (as in unnecessarily convoluted), and very slow to develop. As one might predict, given that I chose to buy the book (CD), I have a hectic and sometimes chaotic home life and was very much looking forward to hearing what Lencioni had to say - nevertheless I nearly stopped listening to the CD multiple times and had to force myself to finish it. If you're like me and listen to many/most of the books you read - do yourself a favor and don't attempt to listen to this one! Sorry Patrick!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use these questions to guide important decisions - like your career direction!, November 30, 2008
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This review is from: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life (Hardcover)
Running a family can be even more challenging than running a successful business. In `The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family', Lencioni takes proven business skills and applies them to running a family.

This is another of Lencioni's fables, which tells the story of Theresa, a stay at home mom, and Jude, a freelance business consultant. Theresa borrows her husband's business know-how to organize their frantic family as well seeks to find a balance between business and family life.

Lencioni uses three big questions to target what is most important about running a family while keeping it in balance with having a successful career. These questions are useful to those of us seeking to make changes in our lives - particularly vocational changes.

When seeking a new career, it is important to consider how it will fit in with your family life, and the three big questions should be asked by every job seeker. I recommend this book as a great starting point for anyone seeking to make changes in their family and working lives.

Danny Iny
Author of the free eBook "Forget Everything You Know About Looking For a Job... And Actually Find One!"
[...]
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