How important is leadership to being a parent? I was pondering this earlier today. In my daily travels I encounter many individuals who lack an understanding of leadership. At least, they act as though they don’t understand.
Parenting is a form of leadership. Let’s break down some characteristics that I believe are integral to both leadership and parenting.
Leaders need to have courage. Without courage a leader is incapable of doing what’s right, not what’s easy.
Any parent will agree, courage is necessary in parenting. Whether you need courage to protect your child, tell your child no, or take risks that will benefit your child while others may think you’re nuts, parents are full of courage.
Maturity. Leaders need to be mature. Maturity keeps leaders calm, clear-headed, and unemotional. Parents need all these qualities to the tenth degree. Maturity in parents not only helps the parents but teaches the children proper behavior and how to respond to life’s challenges.
Empathy. Leaders need to be empathetic, not sympathetic. Empathy elicits genuine concern for others without being manipulated. The same goes for parents. Parents need to demonstrate empathy with their children when appropriate.
Honesty. A dishonest leader is not a leader. If parents are dishonest, their children will be dishonest. Not much more to say here.
I could go on, but I won’t. Parents need to realize regardless of what they do in life, they are leaders to their kids. Our children look to us to show them the way. Parenting is the single most important leadership role anyone can do. No pressure.
What other characteristics do you think are important to both parenting and leadership?