Being a father is truly one of the greatest joys I’ll ever have. My son has inadvertently shown me a new perspective on leadership and life…and patience. The moment he started talking and growing out of his baby phase and molding into the smart, hilarious, and adventurous young boy that he is, I’ve discovered he asks a lot of questions. A lot. He’s curious in the greatest ways.
He has an innate ability to cook an invisible meal, turn himself into a superhero in a matter of seconds and put on a performance on the golf course as if he just won The Masters. His creativity to see the invisible is awesome. His urgency to interrupt during a conversation just to show me a bug stuck on window, shows his level of urgency and excitement for the little things…and last but not least his fearlessness to jump into a cold pool or not be bothered to play in the rain shows me his ability to not sweat the small stuff and enjoy life no matter the circumstances.
Leadership is not child’s play, we have been told. We usually try to draw leadership lessons from teachers, parents, freedom fighters, influential business leaders, even geese…but why not children? For starters, kids are honest. They tell it like they see it and at times it can feel embarrassing and brutal, but there is no doubt the communication is genuine in its delivery. Its quite faultless, actually, but with good intention. Sometimes in business we stage and even sugarcoat conversations, which may not always turn out the way we planned and does a disservice to all in the end. People want to know where they stand, people want honesty and genuine care.
Now back to the curiosity of children… They ask because they want to learn. They are naturally inquisitive and hungry for knowledge and information about the world around them. Business has it complexities for sure but if we push ourselves out of our comfort zone to be ‘that guy’ and ask the ‘stupid’ question, you will discover many of your peers also have the same ‘stupid’ question, but they were too scared to just simply ask. Taking it a step further and sharing knowledge with your peers creates a powerful and dynamic atmosphere for a growth mindset culture too. So our lesson here – ask the questions, give the why and foster curiosity and engagement.
The ability to build a strong corporate culture is to be a truth-teller, to find and curate ways to open up new markets by being creative enough to ‘see the invisible’, to be curious enough to ask the questions and be a fast learner. Last but not least…be fearless enough to take chances and manage risks with the knowledge you have gained.
Channel your inner child this week, learn from each other, don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy every moment no matter the circumstance!
Have a great and productive day!