A key focus of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success. They say that having children forever changes you. If done right, it imparts one specific quality on you, leadership. The following contributed post is entitled, What Having Kids Teaches Us About Being a Leader.
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Being a parent is about raising this little person and nurturing them. In essence, you are the most influential person in the world to this little thing. As they grow older, you can find yourself losing your way, becoming caught up in your emotions, or making wrong decisions. And it’s the little things that can help you directly if you want to be a better leader. If you are looking to motivate employees or you are considering becoming a leader, what can having children teach you about being a leader?
It Is About the Team, Not the Individual
In the working environment, it’s about a group effort. As parents, we can get drunk on our own sense of power. If we start to be the parent that tells our children not to do things and then respond with “because I said so” when they ask “why,” we’ve got to make a lot of changes to our own abilities. Think about working as a team. And you can do this in simple ways. You can start to play sports together. You can incorporate extracurricular activities where you all play sports, such as baseball or softball. You can even start to make it a real team effort by providing a tangible goal for the kids, such as a trophy. And you can also make it a more fun effort with personalized lineup cards and create a tournament. And it’s all of these little things that work so well in both scenarios. By helping people to focus on the bigger picture, you start to motivate them. This works for employees, but it also works for children. And it also works for you because it makes you realize that you are part of a team and are not someone who is above them.
Everybody Is More Resilient Than They Think They Are
When you have employees and you are trying to improve their performance, despite stress coming from every direction, it’s about applying enough of a stimulus to facilitate an appropriate response. When we experience stress, we have to learn how to adapt to new situations. And there will be things that we can learn from our children that as adults we will completely forget about. Seeing children adapt to new situations is really interesting. You may see that they are incredibly upset when you drop them off for their first day of preschool. After all, you’re giving them away to a foreign environment, but what happens is that they adapt and get over their fears. This is something that we can all learn because we experience troubles but when we get stressed, we, as adults, internalize it. Children tend to externalize it so they don’t necessarily feel the scars, but they also learn to adapt. If we ever start to feel overwhelmed by something, we need to look at our children and remember that they have gone through stressful times more recently than we have, from preschool to all the emotional changes they have experienced in quick succession.
As a parent, we’ve got a lot of life experience, but we have to remember that this life experience can transfer to the office. Having children can train you to be a leader in more ways than you realize.