- It was only recently, while reflecting on the essence of leadership, I realized the lessons my husband and I have passed onto our daughters, lessons passed on to us from our parents and their parents before them, would come full circle.
- A couple of hours after my husband dropped the girls off to the 13-year-old’s house, our 11-year-old called us asking to be picked up. She said she did not want to stay the night because the other two girls still decided they were going to sneak out after promising they would not.
On the way home, out of curiosity, we asked her what made her call and not just go with the flow. Her comment resonated with me, but most importantly taught me a lesson on the essence of leadership and how the golden rules instilled in us as children guide us when we are facing tough decisions. Our daughter answered that if she would have snuck out with the others, most likely we would have never known. However, she knew if she betrayed our trust, she would never get it back again. I asked how her friends felt about her calling us and leaving after she planned to stay the night. She responded “I know they will be mad and will probably treat me differently. Maybe they won’t be friends with me after this. But at the end of the day, sometimes it is more important to do what is right verses what is popular.”
I could not help but feel a sense of pride. Our daughter is able to make the right decisions regardless of who is watching. I also learned the golden rules we were taught as children and strive to teach our children work and are just as applicable to leadership behaviors as they are to everyday living.
Read this list of golden rules I have put together. Are able to see how they connect to leadership?
- Treat people the way you want to be treated.
- Let your conscience be your guide.
- Do the right thing even when you think others are not looking.
- Never be afraid to speak up when you see something being done that is wrong.
- Understand that trust is earned. Once lost, it is hard to get back.
- Leaders do not follow the way; they seek opportunities to lead others along the right paths.
- At the end of the day, you are accountable for your actions.
- Your word is your bond.
- Be the change you want to see in others (Gandhi).
- If it does not feel right, chances are it’s not right.
- Never let fear stop you from speaking up or out.
As parents, we go to sleep at night, hoping we have taught our kids the right lessons to carry into adulthood. If the actions demonstrated by our 11-year-old daughter are any indication of the type of leader she has the potential to become, then I feel confident saying the world will have one heck of a leader on their hands. But most of all, I can say I am so very proud she is my daughter.
Patricia L. Jackson is founder and president of Xpect Results, LLC, a management solutions firm helping organizations improve their business operations and staff. Her book; “Doing the Opposite: Insights for New Leadership Success” will be available for sale in 2010. Visit her website at www.xpectresults.com and find out how you can get a free consultation. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org