12 lessons from 12 years of parenting and leadership

About the Author

Sowmini sk is a Product Leader and an Alumnus of Exec. MBA in Product Leadership at the Institute of Product Leadership & CMR University. This article is published with the author’s permission and was first published on Medium

I have always believed that, parenting and leadership are completely intertwined. Our style of parenting reflects on the leadership style we adopt and vice versa. The only question to ask is, which is more challenging than the other? 🙂

Here are 12 elements of leadership and parenting that I’ve learnt over a decade and continue to learn & experience every day.

1. Assume responsibility of individuals other than your own self (even if you are a total mess 🙂 )

2. Be willing to sacrifice your precious time, energy and of course, ego!

3. Do not try to create carbon copies of yourself, enable them to be better versions than you

4. Respect the uniqueness of each individual; what works for one may not work for another

5. Trust triumphs over everything. The (little/big) human may have a meltdown when we are least expecting. Being there for the person, lending a shoulder and listening quietly are key.

6. No one wants to follow a leader/parent who stands on a pedestal and preaches. Role model behavior is mandatory.

7. Teach them to value the intangible moments of life — getting a gift on a birthday or a pay rise every year is not the only thing to look forward to.

8. Keep raising the bar, the job of a true leader/parent is to always keep the hunger alive

9. Be willing to give critical feedback, even if they might hate you for it. And of course, be ready to take feedback that comes your way too.

10. Show them the future, the big picture, beyond daily chores, beyond projects, beyond yearly goals, beyond titles, beyond organizations.

11. Do not hold them tight, let them fly and soar high, when the time comes.

12. Patience! Rome was not built in a day.

Parenting or leadership is not a skill. It is indeed a way of life. During this journey of 12 years, I have stumbled many a times, questioned my decisions, doubted myself as a parent and as a people leader, but it has truly been a journey of love, learning and contentment all along. There isn’t one thing that I want to go back and change about the whole experience. Very grateful for the memories gathered and very excited about the lifetime of learning, ahead!

What is your style of leadership/parenting? Do you agree that both have similarities? Please share in the Comments section.

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