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Chris LoCurto

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August 12, 2013

Parenting As A Leader

August 12, 2013 | By | 37 Comments">37 Comments

It’s difficult enough to be a great leader of people you don’t live with, but being a great leader of those you love, and are your family, is really hard to do.

Chris LoCurto, Leadership, Business, Strategic Planning, LifePlan

There is nothing more important than your family.

Your business is not more important, your friends and neighbors are not more important. When it comes down to it, outside of God, family is the most important thing in life.

Being a parent and a leader is tough. Parenting as a leader can get confusing as well. Do you lead them like the people you do at work? Do you lead the people at work like you do your family? What’s the right way to do it? Here are 4 ways to be successful as a leader and as a parent when it comes to your children:

1. Make Your Kids Successful.

If you’ve read this blog for a while, or been to one of my speaking or coaching events, then you’ve heard me say, “It’s your job as a leader to make your team successful, not the other way around.” (Tweet that) It’s the same thing when it comes to your children.

Your job as a parent is to make your kids successful, not the other way around.

How do you do that? Ask questions. Ask your kids if there are things they don’t understand, and ask them if there are ways you can help. Do everything you can to set them up for success in life.

When you spend time understanding your children, you’ll figure out how to set them up for success. Understand their personality style. Understand their likes and dislikes, their strengths and weaknesses. Focus on doing everything you can as a parent to make it easy for your kids to be successful in the long run. That doesn’t mean you keep them from having failures. You want them to have failures. If they’re not failing, they’re not doing anything! Guide them instead. Lead them through the process. Don’t just tell them what’s wrong but help them to understand what’s wrong. Help them to understand how they failed and help them understand how to fix their problems in the future. Don’t take their head off when they make mistakes either but instead, be there for them.

2. Schedule Time With Your Kids.

It is extremely important for you as a parent to be present with your children. Way too many kids have parents who spend all of their time at work dumping their energy, thoughts, and emotions into their business and team – only to come home completely drained and unable to pour into their children. Spend time – dates, reading time, games, going to the park – whatever it is, make sure you’re being intentional about scheduling special moments.

3. Praise More.

Make sure that you’re finding your kids doing things right….and you have to do it more than you find them doing things wrong. It’s just like being a leader at work – people will repeat what they’re constantly praised for. If you’re doing nothing but taking withdraws out of their emotional bank, and you have not put in well more deposits than you have withdraws, than you will have a child who’s empty. A child who feels like they can never be good enough. A child who feels like a complete failure over and over again. All they can think about is how they’re not pleasing you enough. Spend way more time putting deposits into their emotion bank and find them doing things right. If you do this, than it’s okay from time to time to make a withdraw.

4. You’re Not Raising Kids to Be Kids; You’re Raising Kids to Be Adults.

It’s your job as a parent to develop children into adults – well adjusted, ready for society adults. You can’t do this if all do you is treat them like a 2-year-old their entire life. You have to be a leader and teach them to be responsible, to handle finances, to deal with people, and take punches when they come. You have to teach them how to fail when they fail. If you will do these things, then they’ll be ready to face the world. How many times have you seen people on TV or reality shows that were never raised to be adults? They’re children in their 30s and 40s. Why? They were never raised to be adults.

 

Start today by understanding that the success of your children is dependent on you. The time, energy, wisdom, love, and consistency you pour into them will create the adult they’re supposed to be.

Question: What positive lesson(s) from childhood have you carried into your work life?

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  • http://www.ricardoequips.com/ Ricardo Butler

    Amen! Sounds like a good starting point in a future plan.

  • http://lancecashion.com/ Lance Cashion

    Under the constant pressure and unwanted influence of the culture around us, I can get lost in the weeds of parenting our two little ones. Right now, we’re going through the ‘pick the right school or die’ phase. Next year, it will be something else and on the roller-coaster we go! Forget that nonsense. I have to keep it simple. I’m sticking with Paul’s “But, this one thing I do…” Strategy (Phil 3:13-14). My mission in life is to successfully pass the Gospel of Jesus to my children by teaching it and living it (the living it is the hard part). I can give them the finest education and material things that money can buy. But, if the target ain’t Jesus, the rest is chaff. When they launch from my home, our intended target is Jesus (Christlike). I think the items Chris outlines are solid mechanisms that can be applied to achieve this goal. Understanding failure and sin, success and righteousness, time and teaching, edification and character, responsibility and legacy are components to leadership (which includes parenting).

    The lessons I took from my childhood are; remain creative, defy naysayers and have a good time doing your life’s work. When times get tough, just put on foot in front of the other. Press on…

  • Rick Longnecker

    Scheduling time with your kids is important, Emphasis on scheduling. I grew up in a small business, and if I wanted to see my dad I went to work with him. Now that I am a business owner, the pendulum has swung the other way, and I spend quite a bit of time with my kids, which is good- but it’s not scheduled. When the time is scheduled, or intentional, as the blog states, then you really get better mileage for your time.

  • mikemessina

    Sometimes it is easier to see the areas that we need to improve in our parenting and in our leadership; however, I have learned that the same aspects of love, kindness, patience and respect are applicable as parents and within the workforce.

    I like Chris’ comments about the fact that we are not raising kids to be kids, but rather we are raising them to become adults. This lesson can apply to work somewhat as we need to look not where the people on our team currently are. Rather, we need to lead them in the direction of who they can become.

  • http://charminlindholm.wordpress.com/ Charmin Lindholm

    I love #4, raise your kids with the purpose of helping them grow into adulthood. This was my parents’ goal. At 18, they went from active-parenting to guidance-parenting. I had a childhood filled with natural consequences for my decisions and space to practice self-sufficiency. When I got a flat tire as a teen, my dad drove 25 minutes to sit on the curb to direct me how to change it myself. I should’ve called AAA, but now I know how to change a tire and leverage my weight to get the bolts loose. A parent-leader helps young people feel the joy of empowerment!

  • Nick

    In dealing with family, this past Sunday I was talking with my wife about something she felt she wanted to do. I was too blunt in sharing some criticism I had and I didn’t do it in love or with tact. It was evident I had really hurt her. I’ll never forget what she said next after a short pause, “You want to know how to be a better leader? Try not squashing the one person who is following you.” …OUCH!!! I’ve found that the most profound impacts in forming my leadership, God uses my wife. I love her for her wisdom!

  • Zech Newman

    Hunting and fishing with my dad is where I learned have learned the most. Using a map and compass compared to the Bible. He taught me to listen and to not give up. That we have success where other people over look. I have learned a lot in the woods with dad. These are just a few of them. I will pass those listens on to my three kids. Great post Chris.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Thanks Zech!!

  • Crystal Soptich Lemme

    I firmly believe that if I want my kids to be successful, contributing adults, it takes intentionality on my part. I can’t assume that they are just “getting it” when it comes to developing skills to not only survive but thrive in this crazy world. We’ve definitely learned that that same intentionality is required for our team to be successful (and in turn our business). Having 5 crazy kids and one on the way gives us lots of opportunity to practice the principles you listed and we have seen where applying them to our business helps our team get and stay on board because they feel we truly want them to learn and grow and be successful too!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      HAHAHA…you have your own home “team”

  • Kmays

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. This is the way I was raised and also how we raise our boys. There are far too many people being babysat their whole lives instead of trained to be productive members and leaders of society. It’s no wonder this world is falling apart. The sad part is, many are stuck in a cycle and don’t even know how to train their children because they are victims of the same thing. Fatherless families, divorce, abuse, homelessness, and more are what affects society and if we only had a magic wand to fix it all and move forward…sigh. But we can start with ourselves. Thanks for writing the article :)

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Crazy thing is in coaching sessions I can connect how your business is run with how you were raised. I see it all the time.

  • Wesley Wiley

    Great words of wisdom. I work from home so I’m able to interact several times a day with my two kiddos, but I’ve found I also need to block off time (every day from 5:30 to bedtime, 7:30ish) where I’m 100% focused on my kids.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Amen! That’s awesome. And they need to respect your, “Daddy’s gotta work right now.” time as well. It teaches them respect for others. Sounds like you’re doing an awesome job Wesley!

  • http://JonDHarrison.com/ Jon D Harrison

    I love all the great resources for parents and leaders, filled with solid advice like this! My wife and I are responsible for raising our son to launch, be successful, and not need us.

    We are ultimately successful when we put ourselves out of a job as parents (Though in truth it never does end).

    Thank you for this message – leadership really does start at home.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      My pleasure Jon! Thanks for being a parent who cares so much!!

      • http://JonDHarrison.com/ Jon D Harrison

        NOTHING has been more rewarding – and I’m only 2 1/2 years in!

  • http://www.getservekeep.com/ Joel Fortner

    This is so huge for me as a new dad. I’d prefer to not “wing” parenting and this post is pretty much a game plan (CLAP!) for what to do.

    • http://JonDHarrison.com/ Jon D Harrison

      How awesome for you and your family that you care about doing it right at the early stages. Sure, mistakes happen, but how powerful to have a game plan!

      • http://www.getservekeep.com/ Joel Fortner

        Thanks Jon!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Amen brother! And as someone who’s watched you, you’re doing an incredible job!!

      • http://www.getservekeep.com/ Joel Fortner

        Thanks so much. And thanks for playing such a HUGE role in my life that’s helping me the best daddy I can be.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      And a great dad you are, Joel! Raising kids is hard work, but it is based on very simple principles. Love them well, meet their needs, spend time with them, and they will be thankful and happy. From your baby boy’s huge smiles, I can tell you are doing all of those things right!!

      • http://www.getservekeep.com/ Joel Fortner

        Thanks Lily! We’re trying hard!

  • Jillian Rothe

    Failing forward, patience and setting priorities. All make such a big difference in both your team and family life!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Absolutely Jillian!

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    I’m thankful I had parents who did those four things when they raised me. We knew that our family always came first. I learned excellence and service at a very young age and that people always come first. Those lessons have helped me lead and serve at work in a very powerful way.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      And it’s made you an incredible mom in the process!!

  • Adam Gragg

    I learned patience from my grandfather. He had a massive garden. I would watch him, and help a little as he worked this garden. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I understood how much I learned from him. I love gardening, and I am somewhat patient, because of him.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Wow! Sounds like a post in there somewhere. :-)

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

    I confess, this is hard for me. It’s taken a long time to get better at leading at home. It’s a never ending commitment, unlike work. The great thing about it being that long term a “project” is this: It’s a relationship with seasons. You can correct mistakes, reinvest, and they will be around a while. :)

    A positive lesson from childhood that carried in to work: People assume the status quo so often, even a small act of kindness or caring can really boost someones day.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I love your vulnerability Erik! I think it takes that to be a great parent. You have to see where you’re falling short, so you can become better. Crazy thing, it’s the SAME in leadership!

    • http://JonDHarrison.com/ Jon D Harrison

      Nicely said, Erik. The brutal reality is your comment: it’s never ending. Our family can see if our actions & words align.

      In the moments at home when I think to myself: “I’d never have to deal with this issue at work…” I realize that I would never allow myself to make this mistake at work either.

      Leading means serving, and your lesson demonstrates that in spades.

      • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

        It’s so true, Jon. We “allow” ourselves a little bit more wiggle room in parenting than we do in leadership. We sometimes give a lot more grace to coworkers than we do to our spouse or children.

        • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

          Guilty as charged.

          • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

            And by “we”, I meant “I” ;0)

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      I get this Erik! At work, you are dealing with adults and the situation is easier to control some times. At home, you are dealing with people in development and everything is unpredictable. It’s not often that we have team members spilling their breakfast on their shirt right before a big meeting :)