“Life is tough, but so are you.”
“When you fall off the bike, the best thing to do is get back on.”
Little sayings like these are familiar to each of us due to our parents saying it or even sharing similar wisdom with our children. As a father of two boys, I’ve found that there is so much to teach them and I’ve recently noticed that they are teaching me lessons too.
As a business owner, I’ve been able to correlate running my business to being a father and I’ve summarized some of the most valuable things I’ve learned to practice both at home and in business.
First, you need to be a really good listener even if you don’t agree.
If you’re a parent, you more than likely get this first point. Parenting is a lot of listening. Maybe your child needed to vent about something at school or they are angry about a recent rule you made. Regardless, it’s our job as parents to listen. The same principle applies to business. I’ve always been the kind of leader that has empowered my employees to voice their opinions and ideas. While I may not always agree with what my kids or employees say, it’s important to allow them to speak up and be heard.
Second, you have to be inspirational.
I promise that you will experience bad days. I’ve lived through it at home and I’ve experienced it in the office. As a dad, I’ve learned that I have to be a positive person for my kids and as a leader, I have to be inspirational for my team. It’s important to not get caught up in things that slow us down and if my team or kids become negative, it’s my job to shift their mindset. It’s all about offsetting. When my kids come home from school and share a problem, it’s my job to get to the core. Same with work. It’s my job to help solve a problem and encourage my team to grow rather than relish in a mistake.
Third, you have to set boundaries.
I’m an extremely lenient leader. I trust my team to do the right thing and as a parent, I also trust my kids to make the best decisions. That doesn’t mean that I don’t set boundaries. While relaxed, there are a few boundaries (both professionally and personally) that I am firm on. I don’t compromise and if I did, I’d completely lose the battle. While I love my kids and I respect and enjoy my employees, you have to stick to what you know is true and not give an inch.
Last, you need to encourage growth.
With both my kids and employees, I want the best for them. That means that as a father and leader I need to acknowledge their skills and encourage them to grow. I always tell my kids, “Don’t be less than what you are.” I know their capabilities and when they’re putting forth their best efforts. I carry that same mindset to my office. I’ve gotten to know my employees and understand when they’re doing their best. I repeatedly tell my team that they have full permission to outsmart me and I encourage them to be better than me. It’s the same thing I tell my kids. I want them to be better than me and I know they have the grit to do so.
While ironic, the lessons at home directly correlate to the office. As a parent, what lessons are you applying to your leadership role that you’ve learned from your kids?
Originally seen on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/valuable-business-lessons-taught-kids-steve-klipsch/