This time of year I’m reminded of all the young adults going back to school. Reflecting on those milestone moments with my own children, I recall not wanting to miss the chance to share some of what I had learned through my own experiences.
As parents, sometimes we struggle with walking that fine line between guiding our children yet allowing them the chance to experience life and learn for themselves, hoping you have set a good example. It can be a tough balance at times.
The same thing is true for leaders. While our colleagues and associates are obviously not our kids, there is some parallel due to what I think is a leader’s inherent responsibility -- to make a wise choice between giving specific direction versus setting an example and allowing things to unfold.
As both a parent of amazing kids and the CEO of an amazing company, I’ve come to believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Live by example and also seek out opportunities to share your knowledge.
Here are some of the things I shared with my children that I try to live out each day.
- Attitude is everything! A positive attitude will take you far beyond what you envision.
- Always strive to “deliver more than expected.” This applies to everything from work to personal relationships. If you go the extra mile, you will always be in demand.
- Virtually all good things in life require hard work and initiative. Sitting back and letting things happen or waiting for things to come to you will result in you getting less than you desire and deserve. Let people know what you want and what you are all about.
- Make good choices. Even small choices / decisions can have major consequences.
- There is no limit to what you can accomplish as long as you don’t mind who gets the credit.
- Balance in life is critically important. Figure out the things in your life that are most important to you (family, work, health, spirituality, friends, hobbies – whatever these things may be) then make sure you keep them in balance.
- The hardest thing for high achievers is to remember to take the time to enjoy the success they’ve worked so hard for. It’s important to enjoy the ride.
- Always treat others with the respect and dignity that you would want for yourself.
Whether you are a leader in your organization, a parent preparing to send your child to school, or a young adult heading off to college, I wish you the best of both worlds: opportunities to share what you know and the chance to prove it.