Good parenting is good leadership.
As a parent, it’s my responsibility to help my children become the best “them” that they can be. I don’t want to force them to follow in my footsteps just because. I’d like for them to choose the direction that fulfills them. They may have to make a few missteps before they find that direction–and that’s OK. In fact, that’s good!
However, I also believe that I have the responsibility to teach my children to become productive and contributing members of society. Finding the balance between what’s best for the individual and what’s best for the whole can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. This is the same challenge that teams and leaders have when working toward a goal.
Here are a few of my parenting principles that I also believe apply to the workplace.
Allow your child to do his own homework. If Mom or Dad does the work and Little Johnny gets the credit, he learns that he doesn’t need to contribute to the work in order to participate in the reward. Not only that, but you’re setting him up for failure when it comes to working with his future co-workers. Didn’t you hate it in school when you had a group project to do, but out of the 6 of you, only 4 did any of the work? Those are the same kids who grow up and work with you now.
Set a bed time and stick to it. Despite the protests, kids crave boundaries and consistency–so do employees and coworkers. When we know what behaviors and reactions we can expect out of people, our trust grows. Being able to count on people and our environment is important and helps us feel safe. When we feel safe, emotionally and physically, we learn better and are more productive.
Learn to say “no.” Allowing a kid to do whatever he wants to do all the time creates an unhappy, spoiled child. Learning to say “no” to your kids and to things like overscheduling your calendar (and life!) is important in order to create and maintain balance–and sanity! Take the time to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. Not only will you be better equipped to handle the challenges that life throws at you, but you’ll also be modeling healthy boundaries for your children and co-workers.
What are your favorite parenting tips and how do they help your leadership?