To be a successful leader, you need to behave like a great parent

As part of my ongoing learning and development, I am currently making my way through a phenomenal book by Alan Kendrick, Randy Alcorn, and Stephen Kendrick called

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This morning as I studied my new week’s chapter (each week I focus on one chapter, allowing me to truly focus and apply the key message for that week) I had an epiphany about leadership.

RESOLVE TO BLESS YOUR CHILDREN

“I will bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.”

Now to those who know me, me focussing on this area appears somewhat strange, especially as we (my amazing wife and I) don’t have children, and your confusion would be well placed as I too thought ‘why the heck am I reading this and what possible value could it add to my life?’.

Oh ‘me’ of little faith :0) One of my prayers before any kind of activity is to pray for wisdom in any interactions I have so that I hear, see and learn what my Father voice and in this instance, it came out loud and clear.

To be a better leader, you need to become a better parent

The link between parenthood and leadership came about through 2 bible verses/words of wisdom the authors share.

  1. “Fathers do not exasperate your children so that they will not lose heart” Colossians 3:21
  2. “Before training and instructing, it is critical that we do not frustrate or embitter or they will lose heart and not listen to us” the authors

As I read these words the first clear message that came to me was “Parents are leaders, and leaders are parents.” Don’t go away, hear me out…

Below I relay nine things the authors listed (buy and read this great book for all the details) that cause children to lose heart. Alongside each ‘thing’ I have started a sentence which I urge you to complete.

Thing            (Definition)                                        “Complete the sentence…”

A) Absence (Not giving full attention; outright not being there)

“When my boss doesn’t give me their full attention (at the appropriate time) I become …..

B) Anger  (saying or doing things that wound

“When my boss acts out in anger towards me I …”

C) Unjust discipline (unjustified or administered unfairly)

“When my boss mete’s out discipline unjustly or unfairly I …” 

D) Harsch criticism (sarcasm, belittling in private or public)

“When my boss says sarcastic or belittling things to me or about me I …”

E) Lack of compassion (not listening fully, not clarifying)

“When my boss doesn’t listen fully or dismisses my fears/concerns I …”

F) Favouritism

“When my boss shows as if they have favourites I …”

G) Hypocrisy 

“When my boss preaches one thing and does another, I …

H) Misunderstanding (not listening and then disagreeing or sharing opinions)

“When my boss shares their opinion or disagrees with me before having fully listened and understood I …

I) Unrealistic expectations (set up to fail)

“When my boss assigns me tasks or objectives for which I am not equipped or skilled to accomplish, I …”

To conclude,

If you are anything like me and the people I have observed in the workplace on the receiving end of any one of these behaviours, I hope you realise that leaders, like parents, have people who need to be treated and communicated with in certain ways. Failure to do this will and does, lead to resentment and withdrawal most definitely a costly and often painful event.

Would love your thoughts and reflection on the above. How do you as a parent/leader ensure engagement and positive development?

Have a brilliant week

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