I recently had the pleasure of being at The Future of Leadership conference. As always, with all the learning and development I do, I’m looking at it through the lens of parenting. How can you (and I) be a better parent leaders?
We are all learning and evolving and here’s some of the key insights I took away for you from the day:
According to the world economic forum, creativity is number 3 (up from number 10 in 2015) in the top 10 skills demanded in 2020. Along with critical thinking and complex problem solving, ranking at 1 and 2. Creativity emerges when you discover, gain comfort and feel free to express your ideas. Oh and a fun fact, apparently you get paid 13% more if “Creativity” is in your job title (I’m changing my title to Parent as Creative! 🙂 )
Focus areas for parent leaders: acknowledge your child’s ideas even (especially) if they are different to your own. Focus on their comfort to express themselves. Develop their beliefs around being OK to be different to others by focusing on your own permission to be different to the people around you.
“To be a talented leader, you have to be a self-leader” Heidi Dening
Self-leadership is defined by Andrew Bryant as “The practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and behaviors to achieve your objective/s” In my book Smart Parenting, I break self-leadership down into the mindset, courage and resilience skills your children need for the future. Most of us have not been taught high performance self-leadership skills, more likely we have learnt some through trials and tribulations of life. We are seeing massive shifts in needing to understand your mind and your behaviour, with all the work of Carol Dweck around Growth Mindset and the work of Brene Brown around Courage and Vulnerability.
Focus areas for parent leaders: Increase your awareness of your own mind and behaviour to help your child understand theirs. Developing your child’s resilience is key – focusing on languaging identity as separate from behaviour will go a long way in helping a child bounce back. Rather than “you’re being silly” (attaches behaviour to identity), try “that was a silly thing to say” (attaches behaviour to behaviour).
“By being better as a human being, you become a better leader by default.” Darren Hill
Focus on all aspects of who you are. The things that fulfill you are all from within you. Hopes, dreams, love, pain. All of these come from inside of you. They are what make you a whole human being. Sometimes we learn the hard way that the things we think mattered, never mattered at all.
Focus areas for parent leaders: Dig into those emotions, especially the ones you try to avoid. I know you have them because I have them too. Emotions are feedback to let you know what’s important to you and what’s not. Given space for exploration, emotions give you clues on what gives you joy. Children are mirrors, when your child triggers an emotion in you, it’s a great sign that there’s an unearthed emotion waiting to be explored. Master your triggers and you master the freedom to be you. Remind your child you love them no matter what; then to reinforce your words with action, alongside attending performances or sports (aka special occasions), turn up randomly at school pick up or go sit next to them on the couch for no reason other than to be with them.
Hope these insights have been useful. Leave a comment if something resonated for you.