Have you ever wondered what you are really supposed to be doing? Maybe you are at work and don’t know what direction you need to go. Maybe you can’t separate what’s important from what’s urgent. Or maybe it’s at home. You are fine at work, but when you get back to your house at the end of the day you don’t know where to start. There are chores that need to be done, repairs that need to be finished, people that need you, and probably not enough time for everything.

In his book, The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni explains how leaders can cultivate a healthy organization. He reveals six key questions to help create organizational clarity and alignment. Without knowing how to answer these questions you will probably be lost and have no idea what you are supposed to be doing.

  1. Why Do We Exist?
  2. This is what drives you and inspires you, your mission and your purpose.

  3. How Do We Behave?
  4. This is the way you treat people and tasks, regardless of your behavioral style.

  5. What Do We Do?
  6. This is a short list of what is most important to you.

  7. How Will We Succeed?
  8. This is the way you are going to achieve what is most essential.

  9. What Is Most Important Right Now?
  10. This is what’s most vital at this time, and without it you will either be distracted or isolated.

  11. Who Must Do What?
  12. This is about determining expectations and roles so you know who has what.

What is interesting about these questions is that they are not strictly applicable for organizations alone. They are great questions to ask in a marriage or family. I will admit that it might seem cold and awkward to sit down with your spouse and ask these six questions like you’re some big corporate conglomerate trying to take over the world. However, if you can’t find a way to have these conversations and create clarity on what you want together, you might find yourselves going to two different directions.

I would love to hear if anyone has any ideas on how you could tackle these questions in a warmer way. How would you have this conversation with your spouse or finance? How would you ensure that you are both moving in the same direction and wanting the same things? Share a comment.