Saturday was my annual de-clutter workout. The one where I organize all of the files, notes, articles, books and correspondence on my desk (aka the dining room table). Boring, I know. But each year I always find a few misplaced gems of the written word. Per usual I came across a sheet of paper that I’ve had since my son was two years old, It’s titled, “The Basic Principles,” and I’ve kept it close for 22 years.
The single page was given to me by a PR client whose company had engaged a leadership-training firm. The five principles quickly became the foundation for all of my executive activities. I didn’t leave them at the office door either. They became central to communication in all of my relationships. And I know they helped make me a better mom.
The Basic Principles replaced an earlier approach to motherhood I had mapped out for myself, which was to imagine what my mother would have done in any given situation and then do the complete opposite of that. See what you think about my revised guidelines.
The Basic Principles
1. Focus on the situation, issue, or behavior, not on the person.
2. Maintain the self-confidence and self-esteem of others.
3. Maintain constructive relationships.
4. Take initiative to make things better.
5. Lead by example.
I don’t know about you, but I equate parenting with leadership. And I think being a good leader-parent isn’t as much about skill as it is about behaviors and attitudes.
Yes, you have to know how to change a diaper, what to do when your toddler pushes a peanut up his nose, or, with any luck, know how to help with fifth-grade math homework. But isn’t building trust with our kids and inspiring them to reach for the stars what really matters?
What do you think?
Photo Credit: Le Jardin Parent-Run Cooperative Daycare