I was interviewed recently for a national magazine about life as a working mum, juggling all of the activities the children are involved in. A question was asked that made me really think about the big WHY.
Why do I think it is so important to spend my free time running my children around to all of their activities?
My answer was instant, yet in reflection I realise my parenting philosophy is exactly the same as my leadership philosophy.
I think it is important to create opportunities for my children to try as many activities as possible, learn new skills, build confidence and find what they love.
I have always lead teams in the same way. My role as a leader was to listen to the team and understand what drives them and what gives them meaning in their lives and work. I believed my role was to then support the team in trying new roles, responsibilities and projects that would stretch them, excite them and help them learn.
Now the economics of it stood up of course. A motivated, empowered and skilled team would deliver more, take personal responsibility for performance and create a can do attitude. Sickness levels were reduced, and I was able to delegate more. That however was not my motivation, just a by-product to my approach.
My passion is to create opportunities for others to grow and develop. I love to see others believe in themselves and thrive. Then everyone is lifted, the individual, the team, the organization and the customer satisfaction. It runs through all of your approaches to leading. How you run a meeting, collaborate, deal with conflict and develop plans and strategies all run parallels from home to work.
So it got me wondering, are our parenting styles parallel to our leadership skills?
If you are an authentic leader then they should be. We should not put on a mask and behave differently just because we are being paid to lead. Our leadership style and philosophy should, in my opinion, run through all elements of our lives and behaviour. Just like parenting though, be gentle on yourself. You will be learning on your feet, adapting as you go and developing as new challenges and opportunities arise.
Parenting, like leading a team, is a constant evolution, with your values, behaviours and personal philosophy at the core.