Leadership Starts At Home

I’m seeing myself responding to blog posts more often that I get to create content in the process. This time, it was a guest post on Michael Hyatt’s blog on leadership from Kelly Combs (blog | Twitter). I’ve been wanting to write a post on leadership at home but this one is spot on because it was written by a mom who understands kids better than most dads do. Here’s my version of leadership lessons at home.

  1. Communicate appropriately. Kids, and employees, have different levels of maturity and understanding. We need to know where they are at and communicate according to their level, whether it’s sharing a vision, a plan or changes that may affect them. Use the appropriate words, analogies and stories.
  2. Discipline like a father but nurture like a mother. We need both discipline and encouragement. Most managers practice the concept of “seagull management” (I blogged about this here) where they only drop in on their employees when something goes wrong but are nowhere to be found when things are OK or the employee has made an achievement. Mothers are very good at encouragement and nurturing. They notice the smallest things – from the nice color combination on their daughter’s drawing to the bike-riding skills of their son learning without training wheels. Employees need constant recognition, affirmation and nurturing like we all do.
  3. Serve with love. Managers and leaders, especially men, feel that serving undermines their authority and shows a sign of wekness. Same is true when the husband helps the wife with doing the dishes or cleaning the house. They feel that since they are the bread winner in the family, household chores and taking care of the kids are the wife’s responsibility. Christ demonstrated servant leadership with his disciples when he washed their feet. Find an opportunity to serve your staff.
  4. Delegate. One of my popular Twitter pots, “Only do what only you can do.Delegate the rest.” When kids, and employees, are capable enough to handle responsibilities, delegate.

If you’re a leader or a manager, you may have your own version of leadership lessons from home. I’d like to hear about yours by posting a comment here.

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