If you are not a parent yet, you maybe ever so slightly intimidated by the title of this post. Leadership and parenting have more in common that anyone would imagine.
Let us start with the fact that effective leaders are pros at nurturing talent. This is basic, right?! Further, they aim to help others become the best version of themselves. Take parenting now. Isn’t the above the crux of parenting as well?!
Not convinced, then, continue reading.
I became a parent on New Year’s Eve last year and I have also held multiple leadership positions in my career. Hence, you can trust me when I say that you require a certain level of maternal (or paternal) instinct when you are trying to motivate others or get them to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Leaders get their people to believe in their innate abilities, often these abilities are hidden from the one possessing them as well. Effective parents help their kids do the same thing. They provide an environment where risk-taking ability is encouraged and rewarded. They make you feel secure enough to make mistakes rather than stand on the sidelines.
Humans respond to appreciation / positive reinforcement better than punishment. Successful leaders and effective parents use rewards and appreciation as tools to keep motivation alive and healthy.
A toddler can challenge you and so can a professional. They are equally capable of testing your patience and making you lose it when you shouldn’t. If you have mastered leadership (or parenting) you will be able to disciple them and establish clear boundaries to remind others that they need to respect you and not walk all over you. Accepting or turning a blind eye) to a disrespecting subordinate (or toddler) results in setting a precedent that affects everyone negatively over a period of time.
So, the next time you are stuck in a situation where you don’t seem to have a way out at all, sit back with a glass of wine (or any guilty pleasure of your choice) and think – what would I do if this were my child acting up?