A good boss. A good parent.

In 5th grade I was voted as the class president. I didn’t run for the title. I didn’t vote for myself. I didn’t know what the title entailed. Why did they vote for me?
My teacher for 4 year never favored me, not he highlighted my skills. He let me tread water. I was lucky he didn’t persecuted me. But he never encouraged me, nor did he guide me how to improve on what I showed I had talent in.

Fast forward to 5th grade. Just like my brother helped me where I didn’t know, I helped my colleagues from the back of the class, I helped them on their homework, on their studies, right there, during recess. I never made a conscious decision to do that. My brother helped me and I quietly helped them.

As the president I was shamed for not having the students on duty to clear the blackboard. I didn’t ask for the title and I didn’t know what my responsibilities were. I had been asked twice more to be the president, but because I dislike politics and smooth talking stuck up teachers, I resigned. I said I can’t care less for the title. I’ll do what I do best, and I don’t need extra persecution. Sounds terrible but I didn’t get guidance in school. I got a taste for good leadership much later on in life. I now wonder if it is a little late to shape my core. Though in the midst of it I loved the process of learning to become a good leader.

In the same company I experienced two kinds of leadership. One that “protected” and guided and inspired. Another one, later on, after undeniable changes, where leadership was disconnected from its people. Too many people, to much going on, to much change… their own leaders were unavailable, unclear. It takes a lot of guts and strength to protect those below you even when you don’t feel the same consistency and commitment from above.

Now as a parent, making life seem fun and easy. Never burdening the kid with the big troubles of the world, but challenging them to be and do their best according to their age and abilities. Being a leader and being a parent share many similarities. Composure during stress, being action oriented, approachable. As a parent we are always action oriented in the eyes of our kids, and we deal well with ambiguity when traveling, when kids start a new school. We also care about direct reports and we let it show. Our direct reports are our kids and we love them wholeheartedly. We show compassion and it seems that our main role is to manage conflict, and find common grown and strive to get cooperation with minimum noise. As a parent we are called to be creative, with meals, with the schedule, with arts and crafts, and especially during playtime. We make timely decisions, and our decisions are and ought to be be quality decisions. Our kids dare to come to us because they trust our integrity and steadiness, regardless of what they struggle with. We delegate from an early age. The earlier we start, the easier it get for them, our kids to learn responsibility and how to perform house tasks. The list of competencies is long and it transposes to leaders and parents alike.

I told my daughter last night, as she was going to bed, that I want her to practice her will. I want for her to have a strong will, so she can do anything she sets her mind to. She looked at me with big eyes and asks: “just like you?”

Before I became a parents, I was helped by amazing leaders to develop my own leadership skills. I am eternally grateful for their character, availability and example. I was shown my limitations and strengths and how I can manage them side by side. With intentional living, we can strive to improve and actually succeed. As we believe we can. As we believe they can. Belief leads to the reality of success.