Parenting & leadership

Parenting & leadership

22 June 2021
Gerrit Sarens
Gerrit Sarens
  • A series of short videos about the parallels between parenthood and leadership.

    Many challenges as a parent can also be found in the workplace.

  • Part 1: Are you also a micro manager, both at home and at work?

  • Small children grow up, and that means: letting go, no matter how difficult.

    • You give them more and more responsibility to tackle small and more significant tasks in their way.
    • You provide them with ownership over certain things.
    • You give them the freedom to discover things at their own pace.
    • You let them bump into the wall while being there to catch them.
    • You stand on the sidelines, encouraging and guiding them enthusiastically when necessary.

    Of course, you are the perfect parent who gives your child the space to grow and develop.

    So why don't you do this at work?

    You can apply the same recipe to your team: let go, empower, and grow.

    • When they are new to their role, they need your help more (think of your toddler or preschooler).
    • It would be best if you let them go and give them more ownership as they build up more expertise.
    • Team members who feel they can take matters into their own hands to experiment and discover are more engaged and will perform better in the long run.
    • And yes, you must let them fail (the famous wall). And as a good leader, you are ready to catch them and help them climb that wall.
  • Part 2: Self-leadership and the shoes lying around in the corridor

  • Leadership always starts from self-leadership.

    Know yourself first and decide what to invest your energy in before focusing on others.

    When you become a parent, it's the same thing. You encounter yourself and learn more about yourself along the way. A good parent is, first and foremost, a self-aware parent.

    In this video, Anne Cornut of Maison Slash shares that she has learned about what things to invest her energy in as a mum of five.

    Choose your fights and find the right energy balance.

    • Frustrations often cost more energy than they energize
    • Ignore them and
    • You have more energy left over for things that have more impact.

    Anne gives the perfect example of shoes lying around in the corridor and the fact that the kids apparently can't manage to put them in the right place. It's so familiar to a lot of parents.

    So be it! Let it go; as long as children are in your house, shoes will lie around the corridor. Full stop.

    • Do you, as a leader, still spend too much energy on annoyances and frustrations in matters you have no impact on?
    • What are the 'shoes in the corridor' in your professional context?
  • Part 3: If I don't get it from Mum, I'll go to Dad

  • In many parenting pairs, What you often see in daily life is the 'if I don't get if from Mum, I'll go to Dad' phenomenon. It happens in many parenting pairs that both partners have different parenting styles. This often leads to tensions, especially when it is not mentioned and discussed.

    It's also something we very often see in companies. The different managers each have their management style, and the employees quickly know who they should approach for what and who they should come in which way. Sometimes managers (like parents) are played off against each other.

    Is this a problem?

    Every parent/manager is unique and has their approach. This is fine as long as the fundamental values and principles behind this parenting or management style are the same.

    You can ask yourself the following questions:

    • Are you aware that there are different management styles in your organization?
    • If so, can you name those differences?
    • Despite the different styles, is everyone on the same page?
    • Are the leadership principles the same for everyone regardless of how each manager interprets them?
    • Are the leadership principles clear to everyone?

    An introductory workshop on these leadership principles is a must-have to ensure that every manager knows the foundations on which they may/should build their management style.

    We can give the following leadership principles as an example, based on a recent Ambits client case:

    • Do what you say and say what you do
    • Take ownership of your decisions
    • Always communicate with the company from one voice
    • Always put the company's interests first
    • Empower your people as much as possible
      • Manager types

      • Who are you?

    • Ambits offers business mentoring to different audiences. Our mentor community is equipped to help them with their specific leadership challenges. Discover below what Ambits can do for you.

    • Young professional

        • Young professional

          • Kicking-off your career
          • Eager to discover your strengths
          • Find your position in the organization to perform at your best
    • First time manager

        • First time manager

          • Taking up your first leadership role
          • Moving from an operational to a management position
          • Discovering the challenges of people management
    • Middle Manager

        • Middle Manager

          • Positioned between first-line and top management
          • Balancing between managing up and managing down
          • Leveraging the potential of people & teams
    • Top manager

    • Entrepreneur or founder

        • Entrepreneur or founder

          • Starting or scaling up your own company
          • Experiencing growing pains
          • Eager to develop solid leadership to move to the next level
Subscribe to Ambits Insights

Subscribe to Ambits Insights

Our newsletter is about leadership development through business mentoring.