You can grow yourself into a leader. You can design your leadership track and learn the skills you deemed necessary for you to become “the leader” someday.
You read about the experiences of other leaders and innovate on your ways. You can climb to the corporate ladder and turn your organization from good to great.
A child makes you a parent. For most of us parents, we start learning about parenting when we are already expected to be great parents. No one will promote us to parenthood. We do not have to be the best parent in the world either– although some children will claim we are.
Our reward is what our children will become.
I speak about leadership and I fail in leadership many times. In leading, we can always stand every time we fall. It seemed to me that we do not have that luxury when it comes to parenting. Still, I see a connection between great leadership and great parenting. Allow me to outline these similarities.
Both leaders and parents have to model the way. Leaders are not bosses. They are exemplars of what we want the organization to be. They must, through their words and actions, communicate the vision, mission, and values of the organization. Whatever they wanted their people to be, they must become first.
Our children will look up to us.
They do not expect us to preach one thing and practice another. We are the first influencer — and oftentimes, the most powerful influence. To become a great parent is to embrace change.
You do not make the child to become like you. On the contrary, to be a parent is an invitation to reinvent yourself — for you will be the foundation your children will build themselves up.
This is our accountability.
Both leaders and parents have to inspire a vision. Leadership is about bringing your people to where all of you must go — a future much better than today and a future that everyone desires. Sometimes, as leaders we will not have the opportunity to reach our promised lands.
But we will plant the seeds of hope. We will paint vividly our dreams and make our people see our company with new set of eyes.
Parenthood will change your expectations of the future. You will no longer be just thinking of your self. You will look forward to a future which you, your children, and your grand children aspire.
Another thing, there is a tendency for most of us to cling to our glorious past. Our past served us. Whatever brought us here, will not bring us to the future. This is why as parents, we make our visions clear and we will share that vision with our children.
This is our responsibility.
Both leaders and parents have to challenge the status quo. Leaders will never be content with mediocrity. They are passionate about excellence. They won’t rest until good becomes better — and better becomes best. Leadership is about growing up.
Parents grow old — and must grow up at the same time. We will not rely on the old ways. Olds ways served their purposes. The old ways will only create old results — or at least something like the old result but never better than that.
Times change. Our culture change. Parents must anticipate the changes which are to come and equip children to become real winners.
Being old is not an excuse. We have to be a step ahead if we are to teach our children.
This is true for leaders. This is true for parents. This is true for teachers.
Both leaders and parents are enablers. It is the leaders responsibility to educate, equip, and empower his people. Leaders find the best in their people and sell it to them. They look for their potentials and and promote them. They stand beside them to show them the way.
At the same token, parents enable their children. They listen to their children’s fears, hopes, and dreams. They educate, equip, and love their children. They know what they are capable of doing, and they communicate the “best” to them. A parent is a coach, a mentor, a teacher, a counsellor,and a friend. They are the wind beneath their children’s wings.
You make things happen.
Both leaders and parents have to encourage the heart. We expect leaders courageous and encouraging. When people fail, we expect leaders to lift us up. When we succeed, we want leaders to be there and celebrate with us. This is the parenting side of leadership. We will continue expecting leaders to give us courage.
This is also the leadership side of parenting. The encouragement of the heart helps our children move, crawl, walk, run, and climb — and stand up every time they fall.
Courage is the ladder of all virtues and parents must make their children persons of courage. When they face uncertainties they’ll be in control. When they are in dark, they will be calm. When they are in the light, they’ll make life happen.
A leader is a parent. A parent is a leader.