Leadership is Like Parenting

Leadership is so similar to parenting. There are many books on both topics but there isn’t an actual manual on parenting just like there isn’t a manual on leadership. It would be great if there was because then both leadership and parenting would be so much easier. If this happens, do this. But all we can do is try our best and learn from our mistakes. And if you have more than one child, you discover what works with one child might not work for the other one. The same holds true for leadership. All you can do is try your best. And you will quickly learn what works for one team member, might not work for the other members. Why? Because everyone is an individual and everyone has a unique personality.


Experience can be a dreadful word for some people. They tend to believe that things change over time. You’re from a different generation and things have changed. They want to carve their path. But as much as things change; things stay the same. The younger people entering into parenthood think they will fix the problems they encountered in their childhood. And they might change a few things. But they will quickly learn, a lot of things haven’t changed. Many kids, regardless of when they were born, can be afraid of the dark. Or the oldest might tease their younger sibling. So, where’s a good source for help? It could be your parents, close friends that have kids close to the age of your kids. Or you might research it on the Internet. You can just Google it.

Interestingly, all those things I just listed are avenues into the experience of others. What you find on the Internet is either the experience or opinions of others.

So, let’s move back to leadership. You have stepped into a position that gives you the opportunity to manage or lead a team of others to a common goal. As a leader, you can do things your way. You can take what you liked from other leaders and implement them. And change the things you thought weren’t too good. But that is all based on your perspective of the situation. The team members change. There are different personalities on the team. Just like in parenting, you can learn from the experiences of others. Previous leaders have encountered many of the problems that you might be encountering.


Don’t be afraid to learn from the experiences of others. They know what you are going through. Learn to use the knowledge of others to be better. It’s no different than learning algebra. Algebra solves a lot of problems and is helpful. Don’t design your own unique math. It took years to develop many of the formulas used today.

Leadership and parenting are so much alike. You’re dealing with personalities and each person is driven by their own goals. I advise you to read books and brochures on the topic. Attend seminars. Ask questions. Just because someone gives you advice, you don’t have to take it. Take the advice and modify it to what you think. You’ll learn from your mistakes. As a leader, things will change as the players change. Learn to accept that the only constant in life is change. And finally, realize sometimes you just won’t understand something until you experience it.

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