What Our Kids Can Teach Us About Leadership
So, you want to improve your leadership skills.
If we had to guess, we’d say you’ve been looking for guidance in books, blog posts, podcasts and webinars from grown-ups who have already reached the level of authority you’re hoping to reach. Fair enough, there’s a lot you can learn from that group of people.
But there’s another group of people that can teach you a lot too. People who haven’t been on Earth for that long and who have probably never been inside an office – certainly not to work.
Yes, we’re talking about children.
You might be wondering what kids can possibly know about being a leader. After all, they’ve never been a boss or an employee… Some of them are even just now learning how to write and read!
Well, surprisingly, there’s a lot you learn by simply observing the behavior of the children around you. And there’s one simple reason why kids can teach you so much about leadership: the fact that they have no big responsibilities or concerns allows them to have the ideal mindset for a position of authority. A bit contradictory, we know… but keep reading to discover four things kids can teach you and everything will make more sense!
- Tomorrow is Another Day
Sometimes we wonder if there’s any adult on Earth who isn’t constantly worried about the future.
It’s not that we don’t understand. As you grow up, you have more and more on our plate and it becomes hard not to worry. Even about things you cannot control!
However, as cliché as it might sound, living in the future prevents you from savoring the present. And trust us (or better yet, trust every kid out there), there are many great things to savor every single day, every single minute!
Take the example of our young ones and worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes. This will translate into your leadership skills as you learn to relax about all the tasks you have to take care of in the future and to stop and celebrate each victory you achieve.
- Being Honest is Key
Who’s never been in a situation where a kid was so honest that it made every single grown-up in the room feel uncomfortable?
For children, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be open about what you have to say and the fact that, as you grow older, pure honesty makes you uncomfortable shows how much that mindset changes over the years.
While thinking twice before saying certain things can be a good idea, it’s very easy to start keeping your valid opinions to yourself simply because of the increasing importance you give to what others think of you.
Kids, however, believe their opinion should still be heard, even if no one else agrees with them. As a leader, you should have that same level of confidence to express yourself.
- You Should Always Keep Learning
If we asked you to describe children in a few adjectives, one of them would probably be “curious.”
Kids aren’t afraid to ask questions and if they have to ask you “But why?” seventeen times in a row for them to fully understand what they want to understand, they will. This is because kids are always looking to learn more.
As we grow into adulthood, it’s easy to start closing our minds off to more knowledge. We don’t let our minds wander like we used to and, as such, we don’t learn as much as we could.
As a leader, you need to develop constantly. You need to keep up with the industry, as well as with effective team management strategies, which is why being open to learning in any circumstance is so important.
- We’re All the Same
Kids don’t care about race, gender, financial status, religion or anything else that might set them apart. Kids see human beings. And isn’t that a characteristic to envy?
Unfortunately, as years go by, we’re all fed certain ideas that make us become less empathetic and start noticing these differences. Even those with an open mind find themselves judging others from time to time.
As a leader, you must be able to see everyone as equal, to be understanding of everyone’s lifestyles, beliefs and struggles. This way, people will see a fair leader in you and will fully respect your decisions and requests.
In order to reach a high position in your company, you need to show that you have the right knowledge about the industry. But being a good leader is about way more than that and this article shows just that. It’s about having the know-how of an experienced professional and the heart and mindset of a child. Keep this in mind and you’ll see just how much you can learn from the little ones in your life!