Saturday, September 13, 2014

Parenting and Leadership

As I navigate through my professional and parenting journey, I find myself relying on some of the same guiding principles. 

Humility I question everything.  Once I think I’ve got it (them) all figured out, everything changes.  They keep me humble.

Humility is my favorite trait in a person.  Humility is showing up as the student, regardless of whom you are or the title you hold. It’s the ability to check your ego at the door and have the courage to learn something new.  It’s being open to a new way of doing things differently from the way they’ve always been done.  Humility is sharing what we know for the betterment of the people around us.  It’s celebrating someone else’s accomplishment in our defeat. And sometimes, it’s deliberately leaning from the spotlight so someone else can shine.

Authenticity They see and hear everything.  They are building perspective and opinions of the world around them.  Keep it real and be transparent; authenticity builds trust.

Intention matters.  When we are authentic, we best communicate our intentions. I recognize authenticity in the admission of not having the answer.  When we can be on the same side of the table with people this way, there is less opportunity for misinterpretation and/or misunderstanding. Transparency communicates that we are trustworthy.  When we are authentic with others, and ourselves, we can more clearly communicate what we want and what we need. Being authentic sometimes means saying sorry or admitting when we are wrong (which goes a long way). Authenticity closes the gap between true connection and understanding of each other.

Listen to learn Be present and awake for all of it.
The real message is often discovered somewhere in between the chatter of the head and mouth.  When we listen first to understand and second to respond, we create the space we need for awareness of new information.

Endurance We are in this for the long haul.
I find endurance in those with a capacity and initiative for that extra push, especially when they stand-alone doing it.  Endurance is an unwillingness to walk away when things get difficult. It’s a commitment to being the consistent, predictable constant for those seeking assurance and direction under your leadership.  Endurance creates an opening for us to get uncomfortable, and in this place we find a fierce will to keep going.

Be decisive and create clarity They expect clarity and consistency; we teach them anything different.

Leaders have the courage to make the unpopular decisions once in awhile. The intent to continue earning respect from those they lead accompanies the decisions they make.  This goes back to confidence in the choices we make, both big and little.  They are all connected and deliver accordingly. 

Keep it fun and maintain perspective Being able to laugh at life really does make it better.  Perspective reminds us that someday, much of this stuff will seem very small in comparison.

I notice those who are able to maintain perspective in the thick of it all are the ones who have control over their reaction to the unexpected; they don’t get stuck in the muddy places in between.  They are able to keep distance between the present moment and the big-picture hopes and plans of the future. 

There are unknown adventures, experiences, and challenges that will change me in the years ahead. This list represents what I’m noticing right now.