I know you’ve seen them. You’ve likely worked with one. If you have, you’ve felt the frustration of trying to get things done while also managing what I refer to as “The Toddler Temperament”.
Let’s examine the Property Laws of Toddlers:
1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I am doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks like mine, it is mine.
8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.
Have you ever worked with or for someone who operated on the grown-up version of these principles? It’s something I see all too often.
Monday Morning Perspective
“Maturity: Be able to stick with a job until it is finished. Be able to bear an injustice without having to get even. Be able to carry money without spending it. Do your duty without being supervised.” -Ann Landers
There are many ways to deal with childish behavior, but few are as effective as direct conversation. What works for a toddler will also work with an adult.When my four-year-old son does something atrocious (which he’s very talented at doing), it’s not enough to simply correct the issue. When he throws a block across the room, taking away the toy is not a sufficient reaction. Setting boundaries, enforcing standards, and applying corrective measures isn’t just something reserved for children. It’s absolutely necessary to do the same with adults too.
Why do most employees lack resolve and follow-through? Because very few companies enforce standards down to the lowest level.
Why do leaders operate on Toddler Laws? Because no one is holding them accountable to greater performance standards.
If you think it’s time for someone you know to grow up and start leading with purpose, give him or her the straight talk they need. Then get out of the way and see what they do with it.
Being a great leader takes all of the skills of a great parent. As a parent you’re either teaching lessons or demonstrating them. Just be sure you’re teaching and demonstrating the lessons you want those around you to emulate. Whether they are five or forty five- It’s always “Monkey See, Monkey Do”.
Have a wonderful week!
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