What have my kids have taught me about leadership?
Fatherhood has transformed my leadership style. Parenting and leadership are not synonyms but they are intimately related. At the core, I believe parenting is about developing leaders. Isn’t the core of business to develop great leaders?
- Dance: If you dance well then they will begin to mimic your every move. As a parent this is a scary thought. Often in business we don’t think those we lead will dance like us but they do.
- Sleep: My wife deserves high praise for her parenting skills. At the top is her dedicated commitment to the sleep patterns of our kids. I personally learned about the value of great/long sleep by watching the behavioral difference between kids with good sleep and kids without. It’s amazing. Leaders don’t talk enough to their employees about sleep, but we should. There can be a case made that an employee with great sleep habits is a happy, thoughtful and energetic employee – this becomes contagious employee.
- Emotions: Have you hugged those you lead lately? (VIDEO) watch this 90 second video to answer this question.
- Clear Direction: If I surprise my kids and say, “It’s bed time right now” I’ll get push back. I almost never get push back when I say, “10 more minutes till bed time.” In 10 minutes they are ready for bed. Employees just need clarity of direction without surprises.
- Decisions = Core Values: Major decisions are rooted in a core value. Do you know the core values of your kids? Last week one of my kids seemed to be making an odd choice and I could not understand the decision. Then I asked, would you make the same choice if one of your friends wasn’t part of the trip. “Absolutely not, I would make a different decision.” One of his core values is “quality time with friends.” Most major decisions are made from core values. Do you know what the core values of those individuals you lead?
I think we can all sometimes be reminded of how important it is as leaders to find ways to “hug” those we lead. So as we move into the following weeks, how can you be nurturing those around you, those who support you, and those who depend on you?
Comment on this post Linkedin and tell us your creative ways to develop those around you, or those who you influence for a chance to win a Starbucks gift card. Because to be effective leaders, we must have caffeine!