Serenity Broken

Recently we had some houseguests from Australia. After a healthy breakfast, we enjoyed coffee and conversation before they left to return to Melbourne. It was a calm morning – sunny, serene and comfortable. The kids laughed and played Wii Sports. The rental car was packed to the brim. As adults, we enjoyed our last few minutes together. Everything was tranquil.



I can’t find my shoes!” screamed eleven year-old Dustin, interrupting our calm.

“What? You’ve got to find those. You only have the one pair!” exclaimed his mum, “They must be here somewhere or in the car.”

“I didn’t see them in the car,” said his dad.

“I’ve looked everywhere, I think I left them at the museum. I took them off right before we left. I was sitting on that wall and I think I left them there.”

“How thoughtful of you to leave your tennies at the museum for some homeless guy,” I teased.

We looked all over the house and in the car. No trace of Dustin’s shoes.

So this barefoot Aussie boy went to Kohl’s to get some socks and shoes – souvenirs of his trip to California. With kids, it doesn’t take much for the tipping point into chaos.


How are things at your home this week – calm or chaotic? Do you find yourself responding with calmness or reacting?

In the last year, as I spoke across the country, I’ve heard a common refrain, “My spouse and I aren’t on the same page.” Or, “I have clarity and alignment at work, but not at home.”

I’m beginning to think that we are experiencing a trend of The Blur – not seeing clearly about our family life. Without clarity it’s impossible to have alignment and work as a team – at work and especially at home. One frustrated parent said, “If we lead business like we lead our families, we’d be in chaos at work.”

It’s prompted me to think about ways to help parents discover clarity and reduce chaos at home.

As I coach families to gain clarity and alignment. I ask them to question: Who are we? What is our unique family identity? What defines us? What sets us apart? What are we known for? I like to get parents and teens talking about family identity together; then I ask, “What is your family brand? How do others describe your family? What kind of experience do you want others to have when they encounter your family? What is the story you want others talking about when they think and talk about your family?”

All strong brands in business are clear, intentional and represent an experience. They are more than a tagline or a logo. They differentiate the brand from the blur in the market. Having a defined family brand is the first step to discovering clarity and balance in your family. You don’t have to be like everyone else. You don’t have to do everything that others might be doing. You can discover and affirm what’s most important to you and what you want others to experience when they encounter your family? What is your family brand?

Feel free to contact me if I can help you gain clarity and intentionality with your family. We can meet face-to-face at my office or your home is you are in So. CA. or online with Skype or Facetime.  Contact:  805.376.3500


  1. I like to leave a response when I especially enjoy a article on
    a site or I have something to valuable to contribute to the conversation.

    Thanks for your post ‘Serenity Broken: Moving from Chaos to Clarity, Consistency and Calmness’. It was helpful.

    I was actually excited enough to drop a thought 🙂 I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind.