Turns out, parenting and leadership have a lot in common
We often joke that parenting a toddler serves as best-in-class management training: If you can find common ground with a tiny, yet irrational and highly emotional human being, you can probably work with pretty much anybody. Our impressions were confirmed this week when our team went through a training seminar and “becoming good parents” was highlighted as a key component of a healthy leadership team.
Our instructor cited Thomas Gordon’s iconic Parent Effectiveness Training program, and highlighted that a good leader must heed three key parameters: First, she should only have a handful of rules. Second, she should repeat herself often. Apparently it takes hearing something approximately seven times to take action, so if you are frustrated by saying something three times, take a breath and remind yourself that you’re only halfway there. Finally, she should be consistent in her messages.
As we build our firm and lines of communication multiply, these points resonate. We have made efforts to focus more on establishing cultural norms and frameworks for evaluating success (our “rules” for being a Chenmark company), and have worked to migrate away from detailed decision making at an operating company level. We try to reinforce these rules by consistently referring back to our core commitment to Chase Better, Keep Score, Put the Team First, and Play the Long Game, and most recently, we have been experimenting with different mediums for repeating our messaging whether in a group meeting environment or via the written word. We haven’t gotten the exact cadence down perfectly, but thankfully, we have the opportunity to refine these skills both at the office and at home, so here’s to hoping double duty will pay off.