This text is not only for those who are leaders and responsible for a child. It is also for you who intend to hire a leader.
I have received numerous requests from clients for the candidates presented not to have children and I would like to bring a reflection on the topic: Do you know how parenthood can strengthen leadership skills in a professional?
Parents develop themselves daily, both inside and outside of work. And let there be no doubt that during the period of focus on tasks, strategy, with the team, with clients, they still remain parents, caregivers, and professionals who pause their concerns with their children and do what needs to be done at that moment. Even if the child is sick or has any pressing needs.
I am not saying that children should be put aside and work prioritized; I am only reinforcing that in the vast majority of cases, we need to activate the professional mode and focus on specific tasks, even if our heart and mind are on our children.
Children challenge us every day to enhance their autonomy, offer a favorable environment, challenge us to be present without becoming invasive, and balance absence with moments of mindful attention. We need to direct, monitor, adjust, celebrate achievements, and still maintain motivation in the face of adversity. Pointing out errors empathetically, outlining action plans without forgetting their most latent abilities, and helping with their difficulties. We must always be alert, remembering that words can be forgotten, but the example...Ah, that remains!
When we have children, the 1:1 is constant: how can we perform our role as caregivers without listening to where we are going wrong, what makes them happy, and what makes them feel safe to move forward? Although we have much more life experience, our baggage does not make us immutable, and no matter how much we study, update ourselves, dedicate ourselves, and are incredible, we are far from being the holders of all the knowledge in the universe. It is essential to be open to constantly learning from a being who has just arrived in the world or still has few "miles traveled."
Do you see how mothering (or fathering) is a profound and intense exercise in leadership?
In my view, intensity is entirely related to the importance you give to a particular situation or person. Do I need to explain more? Well, educating a child, shaping character and being responsible for each action/decision/word that can positively or negatively affect their journey is INTENSE!
Having a child goes far beyond having the strength to work to do financial demands, and this text goes far beyond the development that permeates parenthood.
In the corporate world, we are equally responsible for our own journey, our own career. And if you are a leader, you can multiply. But remember: without pressure, without demands, without expectations of harvest, only passion for the wonderful process of seeing transformations happen and being able to identify all your dedication in the results.
I leave here the exercise of reflection, so that if you are a parent or caregiver of kids, you can realize how much you have developed professionally since the arrival of your children and how all this development has prepared you for leadership.
Being a mother/father is leading, inspiring, welcoming and developing. Creating is preparing someone for the next step, just as we do with the people on our team.