A manager once told me that she knew nothing about leading people because she had spent most of her adult life as a stay-at-home mom. How wrong she was. As it turns out, she was a very strong leader because of her “mom” experience. It occurred to me then that if I needed a strong leader, I should find a great parent.
In business life, we are usually thrust into our first leadership role with little warning and even less training, much the same way that most of us find ourselves becoming parents. So, we learn as we go. My wife and I have raised three girls, and here is what I learned that applies directly to business leadership.
We begin with a group of very unique individuals, each requiring a unique style of parenting or leadership. Early childhood demands micro-management, quickly replaced by an ever increasing release of control. Soon, we find ourselves transitioning to the role of coach and eventually mentor. Each child requires a different style based on their gifts, interests and personality.
We must constantly decide which issues to overlook, and which to confront. We must allow them to fail, but never so badly that their spirits are crushed. We meter out their freedom to act, keeping constant open lines of communications. And just when we think we have figured it out, along comes a challenge that there are no rules around, and we feel that we are back to the drawing board.
Finally, we find out that we are finished, and we watch in awe as they surpass our expectations, and often our accomplishments.
Now, apply all you have learned as a parent to lead the people on your work team, and you will be a great leader.
Eagle’s Flight has earned its reputation as a global leader in the development and delivery of team building and leadership development training programs. We focus on creating an experiential learning environment designed to achieve specific training objectives and create lasting behavior change.