Planning, Prioritizing and Parenting

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
-Robert Fulgham

Maybe it’s just me, but something about the end of the school year has our kids running in high gear. End-of-year school celebrations, longer days, and the ice cream and sweets from the swim club snack bar also have them listening a little less than usual. It could be the pool water in their ears, but my wife and I are saying, “They just don’t listen,” a little more often these days. Then I read that quote by Robert Fulham, “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” 

Bam! 2×4 to the head. Worry that they are always watching you.

Not just a parenting lesson, but a leadership lesson.  

With Father’s Day upon us and the second quarter coming to a close, I wanted to share another parenting lesson we are going to start implementing this summer in our family. It’s from the book, The Family Board Meeting by Jim Sheils. Three years ago, we started implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) by Gino Wickman at MCFA. Like many systems, it has us get out of the day-to-day business and work “on the business” – taking a long-term look at our vision and goals but focusing on the quarterly “rocks” to keep the business moving forward and growing towards our 10 and 25-year goals.  

We then started implementing some of the EOS system with our projects and clients.  MCFA is in the business of facility planning, project development, and program/construction management.  We assist clients with looking at their campus, facilities, real estate, and infrastructure and optimizing, modernizing, and adapting for their organization’s changing mission requirements – all while helping them oversee and manage those programs.

So, if we have quarterly “board meetings” for working “on the business” and quarterly meetings with our Project Leaders to work “on the projects,” why don’t we have quarterly planning sessions to work “on our families”? In The Family Board Meeting, Sheils challenges us as parents to make the same level of investment in our relationship with our kids as we do in our business. Having quarterly “board meetings” – essentially 4-8 hours of blocked time with each of our children to disconnect from screen time – to create a deeper, more meaningful, connection with each of them. I love the concept, and maybe in a future email will let you know how it’s going.  

Until then, I wish all of the Dads out there a Sunday full of peace & quiet, a nap with the sweet sound of the US Open playing in the background, and listening kids. And remember – they are always watching US!

Happy Father’s Day to all.

BJ Kraemer, President