My kids are at the stage where they’re still asking for permission to go to the bathroom.
That will change.
When it does, I want to be ready for a chat on family leadership.
As a young man, I was a passionate believer in advancement based on merit. Merit being (solely) a function of competence and output. This suited me because what I lacked in tact was overcome by effort. I’m guessing most teams have members with weaknesses that are overcome by high output.
When we ask the world to judge us solely on output, we’re setting ourselves up for problems.
We are going to find most people confusing. This confusion will manifest in our families and relationships.
What’s my emotional output?
- How do people feel after they interact with me?
- How do I treat people that have no recourse against me?
- Do I stand ready to do what I’m asking you to do?
Thinking back to how I would have answered these 25 years ago…
- I don’t care
- No idea
- I use other people’s time and money to accomplish my goals – they are free to do what they want
I’ve found a large return from small adjustments.
As my kids age out of preschool, it’s proven easier to build a relationship with each of them.
Each of my kids has different capacities for emotional, social and physical intensity.
I’ve made a few unforced errors when I forget this reality.
Our kids’ training is similar but he’s taken a shine to the following:
- Indoor Climbing
- Family PT (push ups, chin ups, burpees, sit ups, dips)
- Hiking Uphill
- Skiing Bumps
I happen to like #4, #5 and #6 so we do those together, a lot.
I get a lot of satisfaction from developing competency, then mastery, of physical pursuits.
He’s the same way, and gets to demonstrate his developing physical power to his dad.
When we’re out in the field, parents ask “how’d you get him to do that?”
In the moment, I’m simply a “proud papa”.
On reflection, I think the following are the core of what works…
- Be the brand
- Share an active life in nature
- Meet the kids at their level
Time and attention are precious to all of us.
…and the kids will get my attention one way, or another!