The great leaders I’ve been around all had one thing in common: they were all great parents.
It’s no wonder as to why. If you think about it, leading people in a business setting or a ministry team at church is not much different than raising children; both are trying to herd cats.
See, people often try to do what they want, they try to do it when they want and the way they want, they are loud & obnoxious, and they make messes. The question is, which group am I describing: your children or your team members?
A wise person once said a great leader is someone who has the respect of adults and the love of children. Although it’s common to find people with one of these two qualities, it’s rare to find someone with both.
So here are five parallel tips to being a great parent and a great leader:
1. Keep your cool always. No one respects a person who loses their cool in tough situations. They may end up fearing that person, but fear and respect are two vastly contrasting motivations, and only one includes loyalty.
2. Guide them through a problem rather than solve it for them. If everyone continues to come to you with all of their problems, then you may have job security, but you’re not leading well. People need to learn how to solve problems, not have problems solved for them.
3. Catch them doing something right and praise them for it publicly. That which is rewarded will be repeated, especially when it is well-deserved. Doing it publicly creates a culture of winning and motivates others to achieve.
4. Treat them with love and respect always. In every situation, consider how you would want to be treated and let this be your guide. This doesn’t mean thou won’t have to make tough choices that hurt you and others, but it does mean you make these choices with as much compassion as you have, honoring the person as someone made in the image of God.
5. Have fun doing what they enjoy. People may want to do what you enjoy, but usually they just want to do what they enjoy. When it’s their turn to choose the activity, let them choose and enjoy it with them.