What do you consider to be the most important leadership role you play? For me, without question my greatest leadership role is being a parent. I strive to be a leader in all aspects of my life, and I try to lead by example. I fully acknowledge that I am a work in progress and that I have leadership failures on a daily basis. As I grow as a leader, I learn something new everyday and continuously recommit myself to being a leader who makes a difference.
When it comes to being a parent, I know that the stakes are high. I believe that my kids deserve the best, and I want to be the best version of myself for them.
Take a moment to ponder this statement: People become like their leader.
Depending on where you are in your life, this statement can bring a smile to your face or a panic-stricken look of horror.
Who do you lead? When you think about the leadership roles you play, do your actions align with your values? Are you a person of your word? Do you do what you say you will do?
If you’re a parent, repeat after me: Kids become like their leader. My kids are becoming like me.
Like it or not, it’s true. Hopefully, as you read this, you feel a sense of peace about your kids following in your footsteps, repeating your words, and living a life that mirrors yours. If you’re like me, however, you may be tearing up thinking about all of the times when you haven’t been a leader worth following.
In the last few days, I’ve seen my fair share of temper tantrums. With a 4 year old and 1 year old, hardly a day goes by without a serious meltdown. My patience is tested on a daily basis, and I’ve been known to be more than a bit impatient. I cringe when I think about some of the things I’ve said (or yelled) in the midst of the drama…God help me if my kids really do become like me! One of the most valuable parenting lessons I’ve learned is the importance of admitting when I’m wrong and saying I’m sorry. How can I expect my kids to practice this if I haven’t shown them?
The truth is we can’t (and won’t) get it right 100% of the time. I remember my Mom repeating these words to me often when I was a kid, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” So I keep trying to be a leader worth following. My kids deserve it.
I firmly believe that leaders are made, not born. Luckily, leadership – like parenting – is a lifelong journey.
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” ~Robert Fulghum