There’s a lot that parenthood can teach you about leadership.
It may seem obvious on the surface – you’re overseeing your child’s development, and in a similar way you are overseeing your team’s development in the workplace. There are clear differences, but some clear metaphorical similarities.
That’s why I want to share learnings form a recent Inc. article written by Sarah Peck. Peck does a nice job of going deeper into the “parent/professional leader” analogy, delivering some very insightful thinking that can help all of us – whether we’ve been parents or not – gain perspective into how parenthood can develop leadership skills.
Here is a quick preview (read the whole article for deeper understanding).
1. You can pace yourself and take the long view. This is all about “being in it for the long haul.”
2. You can communicate with 2-year-olds. I think this is hilarious, but true! Peck claims if you can communicate/negotiate with a toddler, you can do the same with anyone!
3. You’re not afraid of saying no, and repeating yourself. As a workplace leader, it can sometimes be hard telling people no. But as a parent, you’re saying no all the time – which can condition you to doing the same professionally.
4. You know how to stay flexible and agile. Toddler life is chaos. Handling the insanity they can bring to any given moment can prepare you for things not going the way you expect them to in your career.
5. You can’t remember things. This may seem weird at first, but as Peck points out, sometimes not remembering (translation: obsessing about) things that didn’t go as planned is a good thing for everyone.
Ok, parents – which one of these resonates most with you?