The common problem with leadership and parenting (Blog #26)


Now, I know when I mention the word “parenting” you’ll probably think, this blog post isn’t for me. Not for a good 10 years anyway.

But since becoming a mum, which happened five and half years ago, I’ve learnt that the when it comes to the topic of parenting, boy, do we all turn into judgemental monsters!!

Even the shyest person will surprise you with what strong opinions they’ll have on the topic. It’s almost like everyone’s an expert. Everyone knows what the right thing is and their confidence will astonish you. Especially, when it’s safe to say that new parents don’t have neither the experience nor the training to be that confident and yet their confidence will overwhelm you!

And it’s this same over-confidence that I’ve witnessed with managers when it comes to leadership.

Whether as a parent or as a manager/leader we go into it with no experience or training and yet we are somehow convinced we know what we’re doing.

Yeah right! Just one of the many reasons why over 80% of people hate their job¹.

And here’s why it happens in the corporate world.

We get managers and these managers are promoted because they’re good at what they do.

That’s clear.

They were able to do their job very well. Better than their colleagues around them, hence, why they got promoted.

But, now that they’ve been promoted what do they know about leadership?

In most cases NOTHING!

It’s for this reason that micromanagement exists.

You’ll find that the managers that don’t have a clue about leadership are the ones notoriously known for micromanagement.


Because that’s what they know how to do.

They know how to do their previous job better than everyone else and so they’ll continue to do this for everyone – through micromanagement. And kill any hope of developing the people that report to them.

As a young mum, one of the best things I did was a short course on parenting.

Hey, it was totally free and they offered free crèche. I thought if I get nothing out of it, I’ll at least get a chance to sit down and rest.

When I told people that I was doing a course on parenting, I couldn’t BELIEVE their reactions!

Their faces would change as if to say “What a waste of time!”

“What a stupid idea!”

“As if you need someone to tell you how to be a parent!”

Such negative reactions by people on a topic that we all walk into inexperienced and not knowing what to do.

And you know what?

It ended up being one of the best things I did as a mum!

The course taught me tactics that helped me in everyday life and, more importantly, it taught me about why babies and toddlers do the things they do. Having this extra understanding made me more patient and knowledgeable about what to do.

I guess when we make it to a certain point in our lives, be it in the corporate world or as parents, we feel as though we know it all. But that’s where we make the mistake.

When it comes to leadership it’s not about rank or status, as Simon Sinek would say, it’s about raising people in your charge. It’s about seeing them develop into leaders themselves.

And I can safely say that out of my 10 years and 9 jobs I’ve only experienced this type of leadership once.

In all other jobs, I have to question if leadership even existed.

Blog Tip #26 – As Simon Sinek would describe it, leadership is something that we all need to practice every day from the little things, such as, asking someone how they are and actually caring about the answer. To the big things, where we take responsibility of the people we have under our charge and turn them into leaders.

If you could tell me about one true leader that has made a difference in your life, who would it be?

It could be a teacher, a friend, or a sibling. Who would that person be and why?

Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs today!

See you next week.



¹ Scott Dinsmore, TED Talk How to find work you love.

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