and that’s all.
and that’s all.
I’m quite the amateur home gardener with about four years of attempted organic summer foods. Each fruit and vegetable has its own care label, yet the vast majority of my experience forgets this concept after planting the seeds. Each year, the general gardening concepts become more and more clear to me, such as not watering everyday once established to encourage root growth or ensuring to thin the plants once they sprout, especially the spreaders such as my lovely cucumber and zucchini plants. About them…they are doing just lovely, even in this horrible drought we are experiencing in the Chicagoland area. It was unclear to me prior to this season that they could thrive in such conditions. What a thrill when I found that first monster of a zucchini! I had to google how to harvest it – I had no clue what to do! I feel that I have grown as a gardener and have a leadership lesson to share: Some things and people have wonderful hidden talents and abilities that seem to emerge when least expected or in the toughest times. Sometimes, it may be simply a lack of knowledge by others or perhaps a misuse of talent. We are all a work in progress. I learned from my zucchini and it served its true purpose in my delicious loaf of zucchini bread. True learning at its best is reciprocal.
As my sister and I sit at The Treehouse with our kiddos, an indoor children’s play place, I can’t help but ponder yet again about the correlations between parenting and leadership.
This post will validate the point, at least for me, that there is no one right management style for every situation. The individuals, the culture, and the situation keep managers and parents constantly on their toes.
My nephew is 18 months now and starting to enter the world of the terrible twos. This is the age when I say there is a need for a change in management style.
“Its time to take back the role of the boss!” Up until this age it’s about allowing your children to explore under your watch rather freely. I’d consider it an empowering kind of micromanagement. Now that their boundaries have become rather transparent and they see an opportunity to push their limits, the rein on their power trips must be brought in. My role as the parent of a three year old most certainly is disciplinary, micromanagement all the way. Empowerment is already embedded into her culture; now I’m trying to set some limits after a period of free rein!
What has been your experience as your children enter those terrible twos? Have you noticed a change in “management style”? As I am just a new mom, how about those changes in management that have yet to occur as she continues to grow? This post seeks your feedback and comments on the topic!
Thanks for reading! I am really enjoying the world of blogging and certainly plan to continue to spontaneously make posts as the moment arises!
Leadership largely as a study is an exploration of self. During formal study, you explore what it takes to be a leader and many determine, in fact, that they don’t really want to be in a leadership position. Much in the same manner as some friends in the past who determined that they may not aspire to parenthood after spending an afternoon at a friend’s little kid’s birthday party. So, what is it about leadership that so relates to parenthood?
First and foremost, being a good leader and a good parent is about the development of those around you, whether they are called your employees or your children. Being a parent is about guiding your child through the walks of life, even when it’s a matter of being the bad guy, aka the disciplinarian (my least favorite role in this position). Being a leader means guiding those around you to grow professionally under your wing. The adjective of “good” often stems from the “why”, which just so happens to be my three-year-olds favorite word at the moment. Do you do it because you have to as a part of your role, or do you do it because you love to watch others develop and grow? I believe the root of our motivation correlates with our success. Whether it’s a matter of parenting or leadership, if you’re hearts not in it, it becomes quite obvious to others.
Another correlation of leadership and parenthood is the simplicity of success. Many times, we tend to overcomplicate things; at least I can speak for myself! Sometimes when everything hits the ceiling and my toddler is ranting and raving and tearing up the house, the solution is as simple as to turn off the television or perhaps to just put her in her bed. Moments like these hit me hard, especially in the wake of actually attempting to talk to her to calm her down or some other adult type of rationalization in the moment. Leadership is often similar. Leaders don’t necessarily have the singular role of motivating, leading, and developing their employees; they often have that dual role while upholding the business operations as well. So, life at work gets complicated. There are orders to be met, customers to keep happy, employees to manage, and bosses to answer to. Often, the simple reality of humanity underneath every function and operation of the business can be overlooked. That’s why I tell my management students probably 40 times in a semester class, “No matter how complicated your affairs may become, never forget that you are working with people, people who have lives outside of here and who have feelings dominating their beings and blood running through their veins.” I personally believe that much of what makes dissatisfied employees is that disconnect of humanity with management.
Finally, I’m not sure there is one right or one wrong way to be a parent or a leader, nor is there a textbook that will teach us what experience will. Different situations call for different styles in both situations. Nine months of pregnancy and endless books, blogs, websites, and chatting with other mothers could not have prepared me for what happened once my child was put into my arms. The moment dictates my actions. Sure, if I have a moment to ponder (rare), I can recall information about the situation that I had read in the past, but instincts kick in. The first look into those eyes and the promises start rolling – safety, happiness, vacations, strength, courage, manners, life’s lessons. I think a leader should take a similar approach with a new employee or team. The leader should promise to them what she brings to the table and what she hopes to help the team or individual create and become. In essence, this would be equivalent to the “Leader’s Charter”, a wonderful mission statement for any leadership position written by Art Petty and Rich Petro in Practical Lessons in Leadership. Start out simply knowing where you want to go, how you want to treat your people, take advice and lessons from life and books, and stay focused in the tough moments.
I have a little secret to confess: when I was a high school teacher, I used to secretly thank my students’ parents for the practice in becoming a parent. Human beings are sometimes tough to manage, especially in those difficult, hormonal years of self-exploration, and I got a crash course in teenagers! Again, the several adolescent psychology courses that I had to take certainly became a foundation of my knowledge but rarely could I ever recall a particular theory when in the moment of chaos in the classroom. Leading a classroom of teenagers or a team of adults or a child through the walks of life all have much in common, and I think the key to it all is to try to have an empathetic approach to everything. I say it and know in the same breath how challenging this can often be. But, the attempt to put yourself in another’s shoes itself, even if unsuccessful, proves the heart in you as a parent and a leader and the presence of the answer “because I care and want to help you” to the never-ending question of why.
My first blog was inspired by a conversation with a friend about what walking through the doors each day does to her mood and psyche. It really got me thinking about how important that inner voice really is, which, sometimes, may have us reconsidering our entire existence.
So, this post goes out to you – what is your internal song? Does it change when you walk into work? What do you think your internal song says about your overall happiness in life and at work?
I ask, I must tell!
My life song was assigned by my girlfriend a couple years ago: Independent featuring Lil’ Boosie and Lil’ Phat. Click the link and see the video! I’m not sure I’d call myself a “broad” but do think the idea as a whole is about right 🙂
My work song is certainly Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue. Getting the teaching job here is truly a homecoming for me, as it is where I started as a student and truly feel that I have come full circle now on the other side of the classroom.
I’d love to hear your internal songs! Jam on!
A friend made a comment about how sick just the thought of walking into her job made her feel, and that got the wheels turning in my head. So, I am writing my first blog entry! Thanks for tuning in!