The Offsite wasn’t written specifically for parents but his five practices of exemplary leadership could be applied to improve family life as well.
Everyone has the capacity to become a successful leader and if parents apply Robert H.Thompson’s lessons, their children are more likely to lead effectively in the future.
The fable is fictitious but the lessons are real. Most of the characters presented would be recognizable from work or home in one way or another to people. The story was entertaining and educational at the same time and would be useful to anyone wanting to improve their leadership skills.
The five practices and how to apply them to parenting:
1. Model the way: As we all know children are more likely to copy your actions and not your words so it’s important to align the two together. If you’re telling them to eat healthy but you’re munching on potato chips or telling them to clean up their room if your own is a mess, your words do not match your actions. Nobody is consistent all the time but the more that we are, the better example our children will see and imitate.
2. Inspire a shared vision: If you can help inspire your family to want similar things for the future, they’re more likely to act as a team and make it happen. It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking either. For example if you keep things tidy and organized, you’re less likely to lose things so save time tearing the house apart looking for the remote control for the television.
3. Challenge the process: It’s ok to do things differently sometimes and experiment by breaking tradition. Making mistakes and taking risks are all part of learning. Most discoveries and inventions were made by people who were not content to blindly follow the pack. Being curious and questioning the status quo should not always be seen as defiance from children and parents can also still learn, grow and change.
4. Enable others to act: It might seem easier to do things yourself, especially if you think you’re better at it and it’s faster. Encouraging independence by allowing your children to practice their skills help make them feel more competent and be effective leaders in the future.
5. Encourage the heart: Praising others and encouraging their efforts is very important in both families and business. When people feel appreciated, it’s more likely that they will contribute and co-operate with a positive attitude. Yelling and criticizing might scare or intimidate children into doing what you want them to do but they’re more likely to rebel when you’re not around.