What Does Your Mommy Do?
I have never had one of those jobs they sing about on Sesame Street.
As with most of us, the roles I have assumed over the years are hard to explain.
But if you ask my kids what I do, they have a short answer, “my mom is a leader.”
Probe further, and you’ll get more:
- “She asks a lot of questions”
- “She helps people figure things out”
- “She teaches people stuff”
- “She has a team”
- “She tries to make work more fun”
They know because they live it.
Some would argue it’s because I have no work-life balance, and by some definitions, I suppose that’s true.
On the other hand…
My kids have learned about leadership by…
- traveling with me
- working booths at special events
- sitting on my lap while I took on-line leadership trainings (they got the answers right)
- watching me manage late night and weekend crises
- overhearing countless calls
- hearing me make tough choices
- helping me host dinners for my team
- seeing what makes me angry
- watching how I handled stress (not always well)
- sharing in my victories
- processing the stories
- partnering with me in volunteer work
Is this lifestyle for everyone, absolutely not. Are there tradeoffs? You bet. Everyone’s goals, values and circumstances are different. For me, letting them into my world and talking about why I do what I do, seems to help.
My experience has been that kids…
- want to understand what you really do
- are interested in how you make decisions
- are capable of learning a great deal about leadership
- can apply those skills in their own situations
- want to talk about leadership
There is also more room for work-life integration than most people think.