As a father, once a year I get to relish in the accolades I receive from my children (and, sometimes my wife) on what an exceptional dad I am. I love it. I definitely eat it up. Who doesn’t bask in (at least for a day) the joy of being the beloved one? I even love the multi-colored, animal tie that doesn’t seem to match anything I own.
The day can also make me nostalgic for the time gone by. As the saying goes, “with children, the days can proceed painfully slow, but the years fly by.” If you are paying attention, there is a wealth of knowledge we all gain upon indoctrinating ourselves into parenthood that we can apply to our business lives.
There are the easy lessons:
• time management is a necessity, not a class we were required to take.
• patience truly is a virtue - how many different ways can I answer the question “why”?
• sharing is highly recommended…for anything and everything.
• instituting the golden rule really does solve most person-to-person conflicts. Who knew?
There are also more difficult ones to accept:
• lack of sleep and poor eating habits can be the root of most arguments
• you can’t solve all their problems…sometimes, you have to let them make their own mistakes and learn from them
• acknowledge that your children (and you) are not perfect…and that’s ok (no one else’s kids are either, no matter what your neighbor tries to tell you)
One of the most important lessons I have learned is also one of the most difficult for any of us to successfully deliver on. When things don’t go as planned, it is almost always identified as the leader’s critical flaw. It is the reason your employees leave or your children grow up unfulfilled. It is the cause most businesses grow much more slowly than its peers or your children don’t realize their potential. That lesson? Empowering your employees and children to succeed - true delegation of authority and decision-making. It is not simply letting them do something, but making them feel galvanized to want to do it. It requires letting go and allowing mistakes to be made. When done correctly the realized payoffs are exponential. The most successful leaders have honed a simple formula:
hire exceptional people (oftentimes more talented than themselves) + equip them with the necessary resources and knowledge + give them the autonomy to succeed
An empowered employee organization is nearly impossible to compete against. And, one that creates substantial value and prestige for the leader. The type that earns them accolades every day, not just once a year.
Just like every other father, my wish is for every one of my children to be happy, healthy and successful (however they define it). If I can empower my children to believe in themselves and “own” their destiny, I can look forward to more than a heart-felt, cheesy tie every June.
I hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day.
Chris Myers is the co-founder & CEO of BodeTree, the leading support tool for small businesses. Learn more at www.BodeTree.com.