3 Things that ‘Parent in you’ should learn from ‘Leader in you’

Parent & Leader

There are certain skills that leaders use meticulously in their organisations but fail to use fully at homes. Skills that play the most important role in making of a leader can substantially improve parenting skills as well.

Three such prominent skills are:

1.Vision and Goal setting- A leader is expected to have a vision for his organisation which he visualizes before his team to set goals and which allows the team to set the targets. In a family, we need to have a family vision- what kind of family do we want to become?

As a leader, we set goals objectively, mutually and timely for all the tasks. As a parent, let us ask ourselves- Do we impose goals on children? Do we force our kids to chase targets? Are we rushing their childhood by setting unrealistic or too many targets? Without a vision, children get short term targets and do not get trained in setting personal, academic and social goals.

Some goals for the family could be:

  • To have a healthy family.
  • To have financial resources to fulfill personal goals of all the family members.
  • To raise happy, independent and responsible children.
  • To maintain proper communication among family members.
  • To have memorable time with family.

2.Decision making-Leaders need to make decisions in uncertainty,without adequate information, under stress. It may cause fight between emotion and reason. Consequently, leaders need to possess emotional intelligence to take right decisions.

As parents, every decision is a dilemma as we are stressed a lot for the well being of our children. It is important for us to make a balanced use of intuition and informed choices. taking a decision becomes more difficult as we spoil ourselves silly with options. The more options we have, the more problematic decision taking becomes.

3.Communication- What is the quickest way to lose trust? Bad communication. Every leader needs to be an engaging conversationalist who is spontaneous and authentic. A team believes in a leader who connects to his team effortlessly, especially in difficult times which is possible through effective communication.

Every parent needs to hone his communication skills as a strategist to communicate with children during different phases of childhood. There are so many things which should never be said to children but parents use them very often without thinking about the impact on children. Crisp, clear and concrete communication with timely repetition is the key.


Can “Leader in me” learn from “Parent in me?”

Can you ever imagine that many talented people excelling in a particular skill or sport do so when they bring some unique practices from some other skill/sport/discipline which gives them a special edge over their fellow mates.

We all know about the collective talent of Brazilian soccer players with five world cup victories under their belt. Not only the star team, but there are hundreds of Brazilian players also who are signed up every year by European clubs. But how does this happen.

In this book, “The Talent Code”, Daniel Coyle explains the reason. He says that Brazilians played a strange game called Futsal which resembled. Soccer where the ball was half the size but weighted twice as much, the ground was the size of basketball court and each side had five or six players.

This game helps players to improve ball control, very quick passing of ball and vision.

Playing Futsal for thousands of hours as kids turn Brazilians into world class soccer players.


Z-boys emerged suddenly in the world of Skateboarding as champions in 1975 in California. They skated in a way no one had ever seen. Research found out that these boys were dedicated ocean surfers who logged hundreds of hours on their boards. Not only this, Z boys found a lot of empty swimming pools around Bel Air and Beverly Hills at that time. They practiced on the steep curved walls of the pool which required whole body coordination and superb concentration as the result could only be to fly high or fall hard.

Ocean surfing and empty swimming pool rides turned Z boys into exceptional skateboarders.

Manjul Bhargava, a star Mathematician who recently won Fields Medal owes his mathematical intelligence to his love for music. Drawing a parallel between Fibonacci numbers and tabla beats, he feels that music has sharpened his mathematical skills.

If Futsal can help Football, ocean surfing can improve Skateboarding, music can simplify mathematics, “Parent in me” can surely help, improve and enhance the “Leader in me”.

Parenting & Leadership: Cultivate a Culture


We imbibe so many thoughts and modes of behavior from people around us in childhood. It helps a great deal if we get clear and consistent ways to live in our formative years.

Having norms and values, principles and rules provide a pivot to our lives. Families rich on creating a culture of their own, bond better and stay closer.

A family which believes in praying and staying grateful will ensure that children practice it. I owe a lot of my family culture to my parents who were very giving and encouraging to all.

Creating a culture embedded in values like honesty, perseverance, equality, self respect, wisdom will give deep, positive roots to children.

Parents are responsible for creating an atmosphere soaked in such terminal values for kids. The beauty of culture is in its repetitiveness which gives security and happiness.

Each organisation needs to work hard on creating a culture from its very inception.

Older conglomerates like Tatas and GE can boast of cultural values which contributed immensely to their stature in the business.

A clear envisioning and communicating of organisational culture helps in attracting the right talent to the company where individual values can match up with organisational values.

Just like a family, an organisation needs to have stable and enduring  set of values.With time, circumstances require some change in instrumental values but terminal / universal values remain the same.


Parenting & Leadership:Respect your Children as well as your Team


Think about the Indian Cricket Team of a few years a ago – a Sachin, a Dravid, a Ganguly, a Laxman and a Sehwag. There is an apocryphal story of Gods coming down to bestow gifts on these talented people.

To Sachin, they gave genius focus, a great coach, a rhyming quality to cricket and his life.

To Dravid, they gave integrate, leadership, ability to think through the game.

To Laxman – they gave a gift of character, bodily grace and wristy talent.

Ganguly was gifted with a killer instinct, power to inspire, an ability to be at ease everywhere.

Out of generosity, Gods ran out of gifts by the time they reached Sehwag. They gazed at him in wonder and embarrassment. They didn’t need to add anything and left him as he was. A vernacular genius in the world of cosmopolitan cricket.

Your kid could be any of these.

Your Team members could be any of these  Rather He would be himself.

Parents play three important roles for kids – Love, Limit and Let them be.

As leaders, it is essential to have a keen eye to spot the strengths and weaknesses of team members. Just as parents should act as gardeners, leaders should act as catalysts to followers.

Leaders should enable, encourage and empower the team. 

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Parenting and Leadership: The Connecting Link

Is your behavior as a parent at home is in sync with your behavior as a leader.

We all play different roles at different places in our lives. Some of us function with the help of clear principles in their minds about everything they do while some rather most of us function as per the situation.

There are people who do not get affected by others or situations and stick to their thoughts and value system. A person who is self motivated and believes in encouraging others will encourage his family at home and team members at work place.

There could be people who encourage their children at home but are passive at the workplace as the team members don’t interest them much.

Mahatma Gandhi transformed our country by being a committed social leader but his Parenting Skills suffocated his children. A person who influenced the majority of Indians and gave them a purpose could not ignite any positivity in his own children.

Lord Rama is worshiped as Perfection Personified in our culture. He is the socio-political leader with the cleanest conscience. While serving his motherland, he sent his own wife in exile where she delivered twins. Did the greatest leader of India succeed as a parent?

In today’s time, it is really essential for us to be leaders who succeed at workplace as well as at home.

If Barrack and Michelle Obama can balance their act as leaders of a country like USA and parents to their daughters, it is worthier than becoming a tycoon with a dysfunctional and uninspiring family.

We need to lead our families and workplace with balance, patience and discipline.The best practices of Parenting, if tied in seamlessly with effective leadership can help us succeed on both fronts.

Let us pick up Love, Patience and Discipline from our homes and take them to our workplace.

Let us ferry some Goal Setting, Communication Skills and Decision Making from workplace to our homes.