I think everybody who runs or holds a leadership position in business and has kids will be able to relate to this:
Both in parenting and in business leadership, the daily goal and ongoing responsibility of the leader is to make consistent progress developing responsible, effective, independent workers. We want to develop our team members and give them the confidence they need to perform their duties without our constant management and oversight – so we can focus on the plethora of things we have to do everyday.
To this end, effective communication skills are essential. You have to establish a positive environment of respect, trust, and belonging, without creating needy dependents. You have to teach, coddle, motivate, discipline, reward, foster, and allow for learning to take place (which means allowing for some mistakes to be made) in order to develop healthy, responsible, independent operators. You have to ensure that each and every member of your team feels like they are part of the team, that their concerns and contributions are respected, and their needs are being met.
Effective parents and successful business leaders know they need to set clear boundaries, and hold high expectations for those in their charge to accomplish their tasks without help or intervention. And when expectations are not met, the effective parent and business leader takes the time to identify the root cause of the failure and takes steps to empower the individual to grow and to learn (perhaps through education or training or coaching or just setting clearer rules and expectations).
Being an effective parent by itself is challenging enough. As is running a successful small business. Both are very difficult endeavors in their own right – difficult and extremely rewarding. Add them both together, and things really start to get interesting.
Yet isn’t it fascinating that many of the skills required for effective leadership in both arenas are the same, identical in many respects.
Just think, developing your skill set in business leadership can help you become a more effective parent. And improving your parenting skills can enhance your business leadership qualities. What an effective way to stretch your personal development budget!