Have you ever been responsible for molding another human being? For those of us who are parents, we bear that responsibility daily. For those of us who are leaders, it’s much the same calling, but it’s quite clear that one person can approach these two roles in different ways. We’ve all seen the leader who “rules with an iron fist” from nine to five and then spends the remainder of his/her day wrapped firmly around the pinky finger of a small happy child. It’s a transformational wonder.
So why do we take different approaches to the same type of task? Perhaps it’s because a majority of leaders are afraid that kindness will be confused with weakness. Perhaps as leaders we are subconsciously aware that some people, no matter how involved we are with their careers and development, will move on to greener pastures when the chance arises. But truly, this is no different from raising a child.
Do we hold grudges against our children when they mature and go off to college to better themselves? Certainly not! We are proud of their accomplishments, sad to see them go, and we stand ready to welcome them back if the need ever arises. So why can’t we take the same attitude towards our subordinates and direct reports?
Developing quality staff takes the same skills that parenting requires: time, patience, personal involvement, direction, encouragement, and a good example. As children tend to become a direct reflection of their parents, subordinates will certainly emulate the behaviors of their leaders.
Monday Morning Perspective:
“To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.” ~Josh Billings
“It behooves a father to be blameless if he expects his child to be.” ~Homer
This week I challenge you to take inventory of your “parenting skills”. Are you dedicating the time, exercising the patience, becoming personally involved, giving direction and encouragement, and providing the example necessary to grow greatness in others? If not, today is a superb day to begin doing just that!
Have a wonderful week!
© Crystal Dyer 2011. All rights reserved.